Businessman jailed over £1m mortgage fraud
Stafford Crown Court heard Carl Hughes made two bids to remortgage his home for up to £500,000.
A businessman who made fraudulent mortgage applications involving a total of nearly £1m using phoney documents from the internet was jailed for two and a half years.
Stafford Crown Court heard Carl Hughes made two bids to remortgage his home for up to £500,000, backed by fabricated pay slips and bank statements, although both applications failed.
The false documents were obtained by Hughes’s secretary, Gaynor Grundy on her boss’s orders - because she knew how to use a computer.
Hughes made the first application, for £500,000, in his own name. The fraud was spotted because the website made a mistake in providing the bank statement - Barclays had no branch in the Staffordshire village of Brocton.
The second application was made by Hughes in the name of his ex-wife, using phoney wage slips and P60 in her name. Nick Burn, prosecuting, said she was certainly not a party to the deceptions. The second application was not even processed.
Judge John Maxwell asked Mr Burn: “Am I right in thinking there is a website where, if you want forgeries, they’ll provide it? It’s as simple as that? I find it quite amazing.”
Mr Burn replied: “Yes, although the website has been closed down. The documents were couched in terms of ‘novelty documents’.”
People wanting forgeries would fill in their requirements online and would get a ‘quote’ from the website. The phoney documents would then be sent through the post.
Hughes, aged 45, of Brocton, Stafford, admitted two charges of dishonestly making false representations by using the false documents in support of mortgage applications in September 2009.
Grundy, aged 64, of Longmeadow Drive, Dudley who admitted two charges of supplying false documents for fraud, was ordered to do 250 hours’ unpaid community work.
Paul Cliff, for Hughes, said his client had been involved in running a variety of businesses successfully since the age of 22. When these offences occurred, his wife had left him and left the country, taking their children with her. Hughes was having treatment for depression.
The false documents were obtained simply by searching the internet. “The forgeries were not particularly efficient and they were spotted.”
Elizabeth Power, for Grundy, told the judge: “She became entangled in this as a result of her employment by Hughes. She accepts what she did was wrong. There is no evidence to suggest she was to benefit in any way.”