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Former police detective gets 6 years for £3.7m BTL fraud

A former Metropolitan Police fraud detective was jailed for nearly six years yesterday after admitting to fraud relating to 23 buy-to-let properties worth about £3.7m.

According to the Daily Telegraph, in one deal Charles Overend borrowed at least £1.34m for six homes near a river in Surrey, which actually cost around £50,000 less than that amount. He used the help of a solicitor’s clerk and his brother, in one case, to help him claim the houses were valued more than they were worth so he could borrow more than the maximum 85 per cent loan-to-value.

The report states Overend acquired 33 properties when the market was in its peak, in an attempt to forge a property empire.

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith, sitting at Southwark Crown Court, told Overend he was “motivated by simple greed”.

His brother, Jonathan Overend, admitted one count of obtaining property by deception and was jailed for 12 months.

The solicitor’s clerk involved, Carrol Thompson, admitted conspiracy to defraud worth £2.1m and was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, on condition she perform 200 hours of unpaid work.


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There are 10 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Is that 200 hours of unpaid work for the solicitor’s clerk, rather than 200 weeks? I’d be tempted to take the 50 week prison option!

  2. 6 years is just crasy!! He would have repaid the loan anyway regardless of how he aquired it. There are people getting away with murder and all sorts of crimes and this man gets sent down over £50K….bad luck

  3. To the Anonymous reader above – be it £50k of £50billion, fraud is fraud.

    His former position as a Fraud Detective with the Met makes 6 years FAR too light a sentence. Low-life like this (who abuse their authority) deserve a minimum of 10 years without the chance of early release.

    P.S. “crasy” is with a ‘z’

  4. I agree with anaonymous, above. What sensationalist cr@p. I fail to see where the fraud is. If I own a house and claim it is worth £200k but the surveyor argues that it’s only worth £150k, where s the fraud? surely the surveyor had to feature somewhere? There was no mention of the surveyor. I definitely can’t see what my brother would have to do with my purchase or remortgage. How was the solicitor involved in the valuation? I thought his job would have been restricted to conveyancing. This guy was enterprising and trying to get the best value for his goods. He would have got a lesser sentence if he were an MP defrauding the taxpayer. Sorry for the mistake, he would have got no sentence and would have got a job in the Cabinet. Obviously it’s so easy to mis-interpret the complex rules. Please report on the real criminals and fraudsters.

  5. Shaks, I agree with you 100%. The value of the property at the end of the day is determined by the lender and the allocated surveyor. Suppose he should have used some of the money to purchase porn like some of our government reps do or fund holiday homes in France.

  6. Seems that most of the readers commenting here are on the side of this criminal! Woe is the IFA community if we harbour such thinkers!

    I suppose it’s just knee-jerk venting really – an understandable release of frustration at the FSA and authority in general, for a multifarious number of misdemeanours served on us over recent years!

    However, the fact remains that this former Metropolitan Police Fraud Detective knowingly broke the law. A custodial sentence is therefore nothing less than appropriate and deserving.

  7. Whether he would have repaid the loan is beside the point. If everyone could borrow whatever number they feel like regardless of the value of the security on the grounds that “I’m going to pay it back anyway so it doesn’t matter”, it would defeat the point of secured lending, because *no-one*, apart from a tiny minority of fraudsters, takes out a mortgage that they don’t think they can pay back.

    The Telegraph story also mentions that he used a dead baby’s birth certificate to open a bank account in a false name. An “exemplary officer” indeed. I suppose we should be glad he was put in the fraud squad behind a computer and not on the streets with an assault rifle.

  8. Sandra McWhirter 10th August 2010 at 4:48 pm

    To Shaks, Kay and Anonymous, how can you agree with fraud! That is what it is after all. Do you agree then that someone earning £15000 should acquire a mortgage of £1 million just because they thought they could pay it back!! yes I might be using silly numbers but the principle is the same!
    The surveyor is not at fault here as he valued the houses at what they were worth but lenders only lend on the lower of the price or value and that has been the way for many years now so they knew what they were doing!
    The brother who acted as a solicitor lied on the COT’s about the price being paid. Why lie if everything is above board?
    Catch a grip-glad to see that they have been prosectuted!

  9. Ello ello ello, what’s going on here then.

  10. Not condoning fraud but it must be noted that If this guy had been an MP, he would have gotten away with it.
    The taxpayer would have also funded his legal aid.
    Do as I say not….
    No wonder the country has no respect for authority.

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