Barclays sues firms over alleged mortgage fraud

Barclays Private Clients International and Barclays Bank are suing mortgage brokerage Savills Private Finance, chartered surveyors Stocker & Roberts Partnership and O’Sullivan Law Solicitors for losses from an alleged mortgage fraud.

It is also suing solicitors Montague Lambert & Co for alleged negligence, which it denies.

A hearing was held on January 25 and a trial will take place if an agreement cannot be reached.

The case is in relation to a number of mortgages for properties between 2006 and 2007.

Barclays is reportedly seeking damages in the region of £12m from the defendants.

In court documents obtained by Mortgage Strategy, the bank alleges that an employee of SPF at the time, Charles Goldsmith, used the services of Stocker & Roberts to value the properties and the valuations were “grossly and fraudulently overstated”.

SPF denies it was in breach of contract, negligent or fraudulent.

Barclays also alleges that in two transactions Goldsmith was paid £70,000 and £10,000 personally shortly after the deals were completed.

SPF argues in its submitted def-ence that although the money was paid to Goldsmith it cannot say who it was paid by or whether there was an honest reason for the payments being made.

A spokeswoman for SPF, says: “SPF confirms legal proceedings have been issued against it in relation to five mortgages arranged by one of its employees four years ago.

“SPF can confirm that the employee involved was dismissed in November 2007, when irregularities first came to light, but it can make no further comments with regards to proceedings as these are ongoing.”

In Barclays’ claim for one of the mortgage transactions involving two properties in London, it alleges that a property was valued at £19.5m when it claims the value was £10.6m.

In its defence Stocker & Roberts denies it committed any fraud upon the bank.

Stocker & Roberts says if, which is not admitted, the bank has suffered any loss or damage caused by the negligent reports and valuations of Stocker & Roberts, the bank caused or contributed to that loss by failing to take adequate steps to protect itself against the possibility of fraud or imprudent lending.

All parties are defending the allegations.