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Broker banned and fined £106k

A mortgage broker has been banned and fined £106,499 for inflating incomes and falsifying employment details on mortgage applications.

The fine against Gillingham broker Michael Lewis, trading as Lewis Partnership, is made up of a £100,000 punitive element and a disgorgement of commission and fees of £6,499.

The FSA found that Lewis knowingly submitted mortgage applications in his own name and in clients’ names containing false and misleading information.

It found that Lewis submitted applications with inflated incomes, provided false employment details for his clients, and acquired, certified and provided a falsified payslip to a lender for a client in order to provide evidence of an inflated income.

In a mortgage application submitted in his name in April 2007, Lewis declared a net profit for the year ending October 2006 of £88,335, but declared in his retail mediation activities return a gross profit for the same period of £57,344.

FSA head of retail enforcement Tom Spender says: “Many of our mortgage fraud cases have started out as referrals via the information from lenders scheme but we are keen for more intermediaries to report wrongdoing to us as well. There is a mechanism for this, similar to the IFL scheme, but to date there have been very few reports from the broker community.”

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