Mortgage broker jailed for fraud

A fraudulent mortgage broker has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison following an investigation by financial investigators from the Metropolitan Police Service.

Olakunle Okubote of Finchley, was jailed and forced to hand over more than £23,000 on February 24, following a five-week trial at Wood Green Crown Court.

The investigation began in 2008 when London Crime Squad identified a mortgage broker with a lavish lifestyle in a million pound property in Finchley, North London.

He owned a Bentley and Land Rover. As a result, Territorial Policing Payback Unit commenced with a proactive financial investigation into the affairs of the broker, subsequently identified to be Olakunle Okubote trading as ’First Channel’.

The mortgage broker assisted criminals to obtain mortgages providing them with false documents and information.

He secured cash discounts on new builds, which he kept, with the knowledge of the conveyancing solicitors, ranging between £10,000-£20,000 on each property.

The lenders and borrowers were unaware, which resulted in the borrower obtaining a mortgage larger than the purchase price.

He concealed his activities by transferring funds between bank accounts in various names and identities. The documents were verified by other brokers, believed in an attempt to conceal his involvement.

Okubote received £15,000 after securing a mortgage for Michael Kolawole. That person was identified to have been imprisoned for 18 years in America in the name of Kola Ajibade for drug trafficking.

Akin Olojo was arrested by the Territorial Support Group, based in Finchley, in possession of about £2,000 cash.

TSG Payback Unit commenced with financial enquiries into Akin Olojo’s financial affairs and discovered that he had obtained mortgages in two different names, one of which contained false employment and identity documents, brokered by Okubote.

Hertfordshire Police arrested two others in a connected prosecution, who had a mortgage brokered by Ola Okubote.

All of these investigations were joined, and enquiries were undertaken into the mortgage broker’s affairs.

The conveyancers have been independently dealt with by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

Detective Sergeant Jason Aldridge, in charge of the investigation, says: “Olakunle Okubote was a confident criminal. I am pleased that the prosecution team were able to successfully conclude the criminal proceedings, under the leadership of Jonathan Wright from Castle Chambers.

“We plan to take away all their available assets through confiscation and civil recovery to ensure that every available asset is taken away from these individuals.”