Two fraudulent mortgage advisers who appealed fines by the regulator have been hit with higher fines than the original ruling after a hearing at the financial services Upper Tribunal.
Banned mortgage fraudsters Nazia Bi and Quadeem Mohammed, who helped with the fraud, have seen their fines hiked from £25,000 and £15,000 to £45,000 and £25,000 respectively.
The pair had both appealed the level of the fines levied by the regulator, although they did not challenge its findings.
The initial fines had already been reduced by the regulator, for reasons of financial hardship. The original fines levied were £75,000 and £25,000 respectively.
Flaws in the pair’s evidence became apparent during the trial, including Bi’s testimony she would be made redundant from the solicitors firm where she worked on 22 December 2009. In fact, she did not leave until May 2010 top begin working at another legal practice as an office manager.
Mohammed’s penalty was increased on the non-disclosure of assets shared with other family members.
The Tribunal said: “The evidence we received as to the means of Qadeem Mohammed and Nazia Bi was nowhere near verifiable enough for us to make reductions of the penalties determined above on account of financial hardship. It will now be a matter between them and the FSA as to whether they can demonstrate sufficient financial hardship to enable “time-to-pay” arrangements to be made.”
Meanwhile, insurance broker David Bedford has been fined £100,000 by the FSA. After assisting with the forgery of policy documents and the deceit of clients, the fine was reduced to £10,000.
This decision, made in June 2010, was also appealed on the basis it was impossible to pay the fine as a result of financial hardship from the loss of his job. However, the FSA found evidence that from 2003 Bedford increasingly placed business with an American named Wendell Clemons.
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