A mortgage broker has been jailed for six years after fraudulently obtaining almost £3.5m from clients in the North East.
David Reid (pictured) conned money from 51 individuals over a period of 12 years using his Washington Mortgage Centre firm in County Durham.
He was charged on 23 counts for obtaining a money transfer by deception, the court found. Reid had advised clients to place their cash into bogus offshore accounts by claiming they would earn higher rates of interest but faked supporting documentation.
The investigation into Reid's activities began in January 2013 following complaints about his firm, which operated from the The Galleries shopping centre in Washington.
Reid was also charged with participating in a fraudulent business since January 2007 and was sentenced to six years in prison at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday.
Northumbria Police DCI Christina Barrett described the crime as ‘disgusting'.
"Reid gained the trust of his victims, so much so that he persuaded people to cash in existing investments, insurance and pension premiums on his advice to make investments in his scheme," she said.
"The financial advice Reid provided to his clients was false and misleading and forged documents appear to have been used to reinforce the fraud, convincing clients to participate in the scheme.
"He deceived people out of millions of pounds and left many of his victims suffering significant financial hardship. These people put their trust in Reid and his actions are nothing short of disgusting. The impact on these individuals cannot be underestimated with generations of families' inheritance stolen by Reid.
"Our officers worked hard to ensure Reid was put before the courts for his actions and I'm satisfied he has admitted this fraud. I'm satisfied with the sentence passed, which ensures this man is behind bars for his callous and cold-hearted actions."
What made financial headlines over the weekend?
Pensions neglect to be criminal offence
All-day event on 24 April
Consequences could be more severe than in stress tests
AFH has six segregated mandate funds