ITV show highlights £7.8 million mortgage fraud

ITV show highlights £7.8 million mortgage fraud

Thursday’s ITV Fraud Squad programme revealed how fraudsters stole £7.8 million from Britain’s banks in a sophisticated mortgage fraud.

The programme showed the Economic Crime Department of the City of London Police at work, as well as including interviews with victims who have been conned out of huge sums of money.

Commander Steve Head, in charge of the Economic Crime Department, explains how by strategically targeting Britain’s major launderers, the City of London Police aim to take the profit out of fraud.

He said: “We are coming after those people who support, enable, who facilitate fraud, no matter where they are. No matter how remote they may think they are from the front line of the criminality, we are coming after them.”

Fraud Squad showed detectives tracking down the ringleader of a gang, Mohammed Younas, who stole £7.8 million from Britain’s banks in a sophisticated mortgage fraud.

His gang then laundered the money out of Britain through hundreds of front companies, gold and expensive jewellery in just 12 weeks.

Detective Chief Inspector Perry Stokes said: “This is one of the most significant mortgage frauds that we’ve dealt with in the last five years.

“They set out to defraud the banks by creating false identities, applying for 33 false mortgages with the major banks. But the real scam was that there was no property.”

The programme showed how the gang targeted a firm of solicitors specializing in arranging mortgages, which had a high credit rating with Britain’s major banks.

They took over the company and utilized its reputation to access funds quickly.

Detective Sergeant Simon Russen said: “What we are seeing is a new sort of criminal coming out. Far more involved in complex financial crime rather than old-fashioned crime, like burglaries and robberies.”

Mohammed Younas, used nine different identities to evade capture for two years. Detectives feared Younas had fled to Pakistan but he stepped out of the shadows when he applied for yet another driving license with the DVLA.

This gave detectives his new address in a quiet suburb of South Croydon. During the search of Mohammed Younas’s home, detectives discovered a treasure trove of gold and evidence of his multiple identities. A £13,000 Rolex, bought in the name of the alias he used to commit the £7.8 million fraud, was the most crucial evidence.

Detective Chief Inspector Perry Stokes: “It just goes to show the arrogance of these fraudsters. They think they’ve got away with it. He purchased a high value watch for 13 thousand pounds.

"His greed in purchasing the Rolex is ultimately going to be his downfall because that’s direct evidence linking him to the offence. On this occasion I’m glad he bought the Rolex.”

Mohammed Younas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. He received a seven year sentence.

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