Fraudster jailed for nine years over £13m property scam


One of the UK's most "prolific female fraudsters" has been jailed for nine years after conning banks out of £13m.

Maria Michaela, aged 33, was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Friday 9 November having admitted to using a false identity to acquire eight fraudulent bank loans. A City of London Police investigation revealed how Michaela presented herself to lenders as Joanne Pier, the heiress to a South African business fortune whose grandfather had founded the leisure complex Sun City. Between August 2007 and April 2008 she persuaded HBOS to give her four separate loans worth £10.5m to buy eight properties in the London area. To support Michaela’s application the bank were handed false valuations...

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