Fraudulent mortgage broker forced to repay £90k to victims

A former mortgage broker convicted of fraud has been ordered to pay a further £90,000 to his victims, following a financial investigation by Cumbria Constabulary.

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Yesterday, Nigel McClements, 47, who is originally from Northern Ireland, received a confiscation order for £101,329, of which £88,400 will be returned to his victims, including monies to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which has already compensated some of his victims. The rest will be distributed among various law enforcement agencies.

In August 2011 McClements, who traded as Northumbria Mortgages, was sentenced to 27 months in prison following his conviction for 20 offences of fraud by false representation, one offence of money laundering and a further 54 offences which were taken into account.

He came under investigation after over 40 people contacted police to say they had paid fees of between £250 and £4,500, for mortgage applications and surveyors reports that had not been progressed. During the investigation more than 30 other victims were identified.

Following his sentencing, a confiscation order was obtained at Carlisle Crown Court on 16 December 2011. The benefit of his criminal activity was assessed to be £123,514 but at the time the confiscation order was made, he was reported to have had only £370 in assets at the time.

However, Cumbria Constabulary came across information revealing McClements had released pension money accumulated in his previous employment. This money will now be used to pay the confiscation order.

Detective inspector John Carton, for the serious and organised crime unit in Cumbria Constabulary, says: “Today’s additional hearing would not have come to light had it not been for the hard work of DC Christine Hardman. Nigel McClements committed crime to fund his own lifestyle, defrauding a lot of victims in the process. The money traced by DC Hardman had come from a legitimate source after the original order had been made by the courts.

“Cumbria Police will revisit any confiscation orders imposed on convicted criminals who have benefited from any criminal activity.”