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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.”

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  • Anon 6th March 2012 at 10:53 am

    They know of multiple cases with deposits in the region of £10,000 and £20,000 – and he has to pay £23,000? Why are his other assets not being taken to compensate the customer’s he ripped off? £23,000 is a joke! Fraud, and then laundering the money…. why be so lenient on this criminal?

    But am glad he has been sent to jail, even though the sentance is short. I am fed up of so called advisers giving the good guys a bad name.

    And I do agree with the earlier comment, FSA get on and do what we pay for you to do, stuff the re-branding PRIORITIES PLEASE!!!!!

  • Anon 6th March 2012 at 10:52 am

    They know of multiple cases with deposits in the region of £10,000 and £20,000 – and he has to pay £23,000? Why are his other assets not being taken to compensate the customer’s he ripped off? £23,000 is a joke! Fraud, and then laundering the money…. why be so lenient on this criminal?

    But am glad he has been sent to jail, even though the sentance is short. I am fed up of so called advisers giving the good guys a bad name.

    And I do agree with the earlier comment, FSA get on and do what we pay for you to do, stuff the re-branding PRIORITIES PLEASE!!!!!

  • john smith 2nd March 2012 at 10:10 pm

    he lives in a million pound property with a Bentley and he was forced to handover 23K? the guy will be in an open prison playing the playstation and will be out in a year. what a joke.

  • Tom Cleary 2nd March 2012 at 3:30 pm

    £23,000 fine!?? God knows what the prosecution case cost the British tax payer!? I hope SOCA take everything he owns including the Bentley!

  • smudge 2nd March 2012 at 2:55 pm

    ”Meanwhile, I read in my local paper that a little old lady has been sentanced to 30 days in jail for stealing a jar of coffee from the co-op – she probably didn’t even realise she had done it, and has certainly not profited.”

    Thats ridiculous, I’d have given her at least a year!!

  • Andy H 2nd March 2012 at 1:45 pm

    This guy is not a mortgage broker, he is a criminal, who just happens to use mortgages as one method of achieving an unlawful goal. If it wasn’t mortgages, it would have been something else.

  • We're all doomed!!! 2nd March 2012 at 1:41 pm

    So, this guy gets 30 months in prison and has to pay back only £23,000 of his ill-gotten gains.

    He’ll be out in just over a year, if he behaves himself, and no doubt has plenty of cash tucked away that the authorities were unable to trace (bearing in mind the amount he has to repay represents less than 1 deal’s income!) – Who says crime doesn’t pay?!!!!

    Meanwhile, I read in my local paper that a little old lady has been sentanced to 30 days in jail for stealing a jar of coffee from the co-op – she probably didn’t even realise she had done it, and has certainly not profited.

  • Andy C 2nd March 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Anon 1:21pm

    Totally agree, and introducing individual registration for mortgage brokers would quickly flush the likes of Mr Okubote out of our industry for good. Unfortunately the FSA is busy spending lots of time and money rebranding itself as the FCA to be able to implement this. A question of priorities I guess!

  • AJK 2nd March 2012 at 1:25 pm

    What a BAD Man ! a very very Bad Man! Eeh

  • john smith 2nd March 2012 at 1:21 pm

    this is incredible and actually scary what a broker can be capable of doing. there is a failure at all levels, the broker, the lender and the solicitor. the sooner individual brokers can be authorised the better.

  • Steve Barber 2nd March 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Well done and good riddance we dont need so called brokers like him giving the industry this type of headline, although the jail term should have been a lot longer

  • Ancient Wisdom...is a mortgage broker in N3 2nd March 2012 at 1:19 pm