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Three convicted for conning £4.6m out of providers

Three individuals, including a for-mer police financial investigator, were last week sentenced to jail for defrauding mortgage providers out of £4.6m.

Charles Overend, a former police financial investigator, defrauded mortgage providers by hiding discounts he had received on the price of residential properties, tricking lenders into providing loans that were proportionally larger than normal for buy-to-let houses.

He was assisted by his brother Jonathan Overend and Carrol Thompson. The scam relied on Overend securing a substantial discount on the asking price of properties. One example was a discount of £89,900 in total on two properties in Wigan.

He then applied for mortgages for the asking price instead of the price agreed. Thompson, who was em-ployed as a clerk at various solicitor firms as the fraud went on, assisted by supplying false information to lenders or their agents on the prices of the properties.

The discounts allowed the defendants to secure loans worth in excess of 85% of the value of the properties.

Stephen Rowland, reviewing lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service’s Central Fraud Group, says: “The scale and effectiveness of this fraud was remarkable. Charles Overend and his associates bought 32 properties across the country between them, using £4.6m obtained dishonestly through mortgages.

“Lenders were eager to make the most of the housing boom and Overend knew how to exploit them and turn himself into a property millionaire. This trio did not have the cash to get heavily involved in property so they decided deception was the answer.”

Charles Overend was handed a sentence of five years and six months for the mortgage fraud plus a consecutive three-month sentence for possession of a false identity document.

Jonathan Overend was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment while Thompson was given a suspended sentence of 150 weeks plus 200 hours’ unpaid labour.

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