A mortgage broker has been jailed for six years after a year-long investigation into a £3m investment fraud.
David Reid was charged with 23 counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception, with the offences spanning a period of 12 years. He was also charged with participating in a fraudulent business dating from January 2007.
Reid pleaded guilty to all charges at Newcastle Crown Court on 17 February. He was sentenced last week to six years in prison.
Clients of Reid’s firm, Washington Mortgage Centre, were advised to place their money in a high-interest offshore account from which interest payments would be received but these payments stopped in November 2012.
Enquiries led to revelations that the offshore accounts did not exist and supporting documentation had been falsified.
Northumbria Police investigated the claims and subsequent search warrants led to the seizure of information on Reid’s clients and business interests. Reid was arrested in March 2013.
Northumbria Police DCI Christina Barrett says: “Reid deceived people out of millions of pounds and left many of his victims suffering significant financial hardship. The impact on these individuals cannot be underestimated.”
Start Financial Services manager Tom Cleary says: “Incidents like this, which seem to be happening too often, only damage the reputation of advisers, the majority of whom are working in the best interests of clients.”