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FSA helps jail fraudulent mortgage broker

The FSA has revealed that its four-year investigation into a fraudulent mortgage broker has led to his arrest and imprisonment.

The regulator has today published a final notice banning mortgage broker Leo Kusi-Appiah, who was recently jailed after pleading guilty at St Albans Crown Court to obtaining property by deception in connection with mortgage fraud.

The FSA banned Kusi-Appiah nearly two years ago but publication of the Final Notice had, for legal reasons, to await the outcome of the court case.

The FSA found that Kusi-Appiah, who traded as Oxford House Financial Services, submitted fraudulent mortgage applications in his own name, in his wife’s name, and in the name of a fictitious person called Kwadjo Amoteng.

The FSA says Kusi-Appiah sent the regulator a “bizarre” handwritten letter from Ghana in which ‘Kwadjo Amoteng’ confessed to committing mortgage fraud offences using Kusi-Appiah’s name. The FSA says handwriting analysis showed that the letter was probably written by Kusi-Appiah.

Kusi-Appiah also made false and misleading statements to the FSA about his business arrangements, and he failed to disclose in his application for authorisation that he had been the subject of two County Court Judgments.

FSA director of enforcement Margaret Cole says: “This is one of the more serious mortgage fraud cases we have come across since mortgage regulation began four years ago. It was one of the first mortgage broker cases that we decided to investigate back in 2005. FSA staff worked closely with Hertfordshire Constabulary, to avoid tipping off Kusi-Appiah, and the FSA and police investigations were conducted in parallel.

“We continue to work with police forces and other law enforcement agencies in the nationwide crackdown on mortgage fraud, and I expect to see more prosecutions of this kind and confiscation of assets in coming months and years.”

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