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Church Court Chambers barrister Robert Newcombe has secured the acquittal of an FCA authorised mortgage broker who was accused of making dishonest false representations to lenders that 3 residential conveyancing transactions were genuine when in fact they were not. A co-defendant was convicted of fraud and another of laundering the proceeds of the transactions.
The fraudsters had targetted properties which were mortgage-free. This type of fraud is often referred to as “Title Fraud”. The fraudsters impersonated the owners, and provided false identity documentation. The mortgage broker unwittingly assisted with 3 mortgage applications on behalf of buyers that he thought were genuine.
There were lessons to be learned by the “sellers'” solicitors. They transferred the sales proceeds to the third party launderer rather than the named owner.
There were lessons to be learned by the “buyers'” solicitors. Deposit funds had been shown to the buyers’ solicitors as being from cash deposited shortly before the simultaneous exchange/ completion date. In one instance the bank statements showing “source of funds” were forgeries.
Robert Newcombe will present a seminar on Title Fraud as part of the Church Court Chambers CPD lecture series in the near future. Please contact Senior Clerk Daniel Bartlett at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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