View more on these topics

Brit in custody over fake mortgage scam in Spain

A British man was taken into police custody last week after allegedly scamming fellow Brits with fake mortgages on the Costa del Sol.

The mortgage fraud operated over 18 months from Dominion Beach in Estepona and was headed by John Michael Doust.

The scam is believed to have netted tens of thousands of euros each month from members of the public who found the company, TMGiberia.com, either through the internet or a network of duped estate agents and introducers across Spain.

The business also used the name The Mortgage Group SA which is a company registered in Dominica and not a Spanish SA company.

TMGiberia.com offered slightly better mortgage terms than genuine lenders and would take on virtually any case, however hopeless in conventional terms.

Prospective borrowers were persuaded to sign a mortgage agreement with the company that in-cluded a vital clause making a 1% or 2% fee payable on receipt of a satisfactory mortgage offer.

The borrower would first pay an inflated valuation fee to TMGiberia com and, on receipt of the valuation, a mortgage offer would be typed and printed out and presented to the borrower. The borrower was then asked to stump up the fee under the terms of the agreement, which could be as much as €14,000.

But the mortgage was never provided and the offer was not worth the paper it was written on.

Gwilym Rhys-Jones, an adviser and investigator and member of the Costa del Sol Action Group, is helping the Mૡga Provincial Fraud Squad with its investigation into Doust.

Rhys-Jones says: “Over 100 victims seem to have been defrauded by Doust and his associates. They all paid the 1% application fee but never got their mortgages.

“Doust’s alleged modus operandi in this scam was to offer attractive terms for mortgages and equity release schemes for which applicants were charged advance fees and excessive valuation fees. In reality, no mortgage funds were available.”

Recommended

Consumers turn to the internet for cheaper deals

Nearly twice as many people would be likely to apply for a mortgage online if they could be sure they were getting the cheapest deal available, reveals research from Direct Line Mortgages. With almost 80% of respondents to Direct Lines first online mortgage index anticipating that online mortgages will become more popular, the direct mortgage […]

Investment in charity

Chase UK has signed an exclusive deal with Direct Auto Financial Services, part of Provident Financial, to restructure the finances of its clients who are in minor arrears. With their permission, Direct Auto will refer clients who have equity in their homes but are struggling to afford their outgoings to Chase UK. The packager will […]

Friends of the Earth welcomes Energy Efficiency Certificates

Friends of the Earth has welcomed Energy Efficiency Certificates as a long-overdue incentive for tackling the UK’s rising climate emissionsThe new certificates will form part of the Home Information Pack and provide a clear indication to buyers on the energy efficiency of a property – with ratings much like the energy efficiency labels provided on […]

The savvy consumer

In last year’s FCA thematic review of the mortgage market, one of the key things highlighted was the “savvy consumer”. That’s the client who comes in the door with a very clear idea of what they need and expect you to get them it. They don’t think they need advice, they have after all consulted […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up
Comments
  • Post a comment
  • Rick Morris 14th December 2011 at 6:31 am

    John Doust has done it again. he has been using the name “John Gladstone” and has been running insurance and banking fraud in Malaga, Spain. He has defrauded millions of dollars from American Citizens and reaching as far as India, this time. There is conclusive evidence that he has been laundering money out of the Danske Bank in Denmark and the Rietumu Bank in Latvia. There are key witnesses and victims that have mounds of evidence to put him in prison, FOR GOOD! See Lawbird.com