A former police officer is among five people who have been found guilty of a £20m mortgage fraud spanning five years.
The BBC reports that former police officer Antony Lowry-Huws, his wife Susan, and three co-defendants were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud after convincing lenders to advance thousands of pounds on properties across north Wales.
Lancashire-based Frank Darlington acted as the surveyor in the transactions by providing false property valuations and rental income figures, while Flintshire-based solicitor Nicholas Jones did the conveyancing and submitted the fraudulent mortgage application.
Lowry-Huws’ business partner Sheila Whalley was also found guilty for her involvement in the fraud.
Between May 2003 and June 2008 the group submitted 189 mortgage applications. In some cases property values or potential rental income was inflated, while in others the flats on which the mortgages were advanced did not even exist.
The case took five years to bring to court. The convictions follow a five-month trial during which the jury had to consider 50,000 items of evidence.
The five have been bailed ahead of being sentenced in September.
A spokesperson for North Wales Police told the BBC: “North Wales Police welcome the verdicts of guilty on individuals convicted of this substantial mortgage fraud, one of the largest investigations of this nature ever to be conducted in England and Wales.
“It is inappropriate at this stage to say more save to say thank you to all members of the investigative and prosecution team for their dedication and hard work on a very challenging inquiry.”
A second surveyor, George Walker of Colwyn Bay, was found not guilty of any involvement in the fraud.