View more on these topics

Broker from the Apprentice pleads guilty to mortgage fraud

A mortgage broker who appeared on the BBC show the Apprentice has pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud.

The BBC reports that Christopher Farrell, 29, inflated clients’ incomes to help them secure home loans – and earn himself commission.

He pleaded guilty at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court to fraud and will be sentenced on January 28.

Prosecutor David Gittins reportedly told the court: “Christopher Farrell started working as a mortgage and insurance adviser with the company, Mortgages for Plymouth, in November 2007 until he was told: ’You’re fired’ in August 2009.

“After that he took part in the BBC programme The Apprentice until he was fired from that in November.”

Gittins explained to the court that Farrell, who earned a salary of £1,600 a month, would make commission if he reached sales targets.

But Farrell started inflating the incomes of clients to ensure their mortgage applications were successful – thereby reaching the sales target.

Farrell, who admitted four charges of fraud, would either alter P60 forms or payslips to show his clients in a more favourable light to a mortgage lender or create fake documents, magistrates were told.

The BBC says that in one instance, he made an application for a client with a £40,000 salary which showed he earned £120,000 a year.

Magistrates decided their powers of sentence were insufficient and committed Farrell to Plymouth Crown Court to be sentenced on January 28.

The court was also told that Farrell had two previous convictions for possessing an offensive weapon.

He admitted the two charges in September 2009 before filming The Apprentice after police found an extendable baton and a knuckleduster in his Mercedes.

Recommended

Lenders warned on arrears rules for third parties

The Financial Services Authority last week warned lenders to comply with its arrears regulations, in particular when using third partyoutsourcing firms. In its Mortgage Lenders’ Roundup newsletter for December it says that after Christmas Day any third party outsourcer that does not record phone calls with those in arrears will be breaching rules. Lenders must […]

PHIL_WHITEHOUSE.jpg

60 Seconds with…Phil Whitehouse

PHIL WHITEHOUSEHEADTHE MORTGAGE ALLIANCE HOW WAS 2010 FOR TMA?At TMA we managed to hit the majority of our business objectives and made some positive changes to the business. It was a good year for our customer service strategy and we have worked hard to build some productive and long-lasting relationships. DO YOU THINK MORE LENDERS […]

Comments
  • Post a comment
  • R Fee 24th December 2010 at 8:33 am

    I thought he was good on the Apprentice and I liked him until I read the above article.

    Altering P60’s/payslips and creating false documents is inexcusable – I’m not defending what he’s done, but the other side of the coin of course is how much pressure he was being put under to achieve his targets – it doesn’t suprise me that some brokers feel they have no choice but to commit this type of fraud to hit their targets through fear of a dressing down at each weekly sales meeting and ultimately the fear of losing your job.

    So was he just being greedy or did he feel like he had to do this in order to keep his job ?

    No question that he shouldn’t have done it, but there must be a reason why.