FSA warns of more prosecutions as crackdown on fraud continues

The FSA has warned that the industry can expect to see more serious mortgage fraud cases hit the courts in the coming months as it continues to work closely with the police.

It revealed last week that it has banned Leo Kusi-Appiah, who traded as Oxford House Financial Services in north London, for submitting fraudulent mortgage applications in his own name, his wife’s name and a fictitious person called Kwadjo Amoteng.

Kusi-Appiah was jailed after pleading guilty to obtaining prop-erty by deception in connection with mortgage fraud.

During the trial it was revealed that the Financial Services Authority had received a handwritten letter from Ghana in which someone calling himself Kwadjo Amoteng confessed to com-mitting mortgage fraud using Kusi-Appiah’s name.

But handwriting analysis showed that the letter was probably written by Kusi-Appiah.

He also made false and misleading statements to the FSA about his business arrangements and failed to disclose in his application for authorisation that he had been the subject of two County Court Judgments.

Nick Baxter, managing director of Mortgage Promotions and an expert witness in mortgage fraud cases, says nothing surprises him when it comes to mortgage fraud.

He says: “A number of lenders have been asleep but they have now woken up and hopefully there will be less such cases in the future.”

The FSA banned Kusi-Appiah nearly two years ago but publication of the final notice had to wait for the outcome of the court case.

Margaret Cole, director of enforcement at the FSA, says: “This is one of the more serious mortgage fraud cases since regulation began four years ago.

“We continue to work with the police and other law enforcement agencies in the crackdown on fraud and expect to see more prosecutions of this kind and confiscation of assets in coming months.”