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IFA jailed for mortgage fraud

An IFA was today sentenced to five and a half years in jail at Birmingham Crown Court for falsifying mortgage applications on behalf of clients.

West Midlands Police say IFA Mark Campbell assisted client Michael Browne to lead a multi-million pound mortgage fraud racket in the Midlands.

Browne, from Canley in Coventry, built up a portfolio of property across the city on the back of a string of false mortgage applications.

He was sentenced to three years in prison, but had his sentenced reduced due to time spent on remand and the fact that he entered a guilty plea.

Police say Browne used the specialist skills and knowledge of Campbell to acquire loans, overstating his income in mortgage applications.

Campbell was convicted after the jury heard how he falsified incomes and produced false letters of employment and references.

Accoding to police Campbell, also from Coventry, obtained mortgages for Browne and his family and associates with a “no questions asked attitude”, without signing forms or producing proof of income.

Campbell also used the services of another man, Andrew Harris from Coventry, to produce false payslips. Harris pleaded guilty in 2009 and will be sentenced at a later date.

Browne’s business partner in a property development company called MIDA developments, David Vincent Smith was also convicted of the same offences after a five week trial earlier this year.

Smith, who also used Campbell to obtain loans using false references and inflated incomes, will serve three and a half years in prison.

Police will now begin legal proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure the three mens’ assets are seized.

Regional Asset Recovery Team Det Inspector Chris Berrow says: “Browne pleaded guilty at an early stage when he saw the overwhelming evidence against him. Campbell and Smith however denied the fraud to the end even though there was overwhelming documentary evidence that showed they lied to banks and lending institutes time and time again.

“Campbell abused his position and used his knowledge and skills to obtain a mortgage for anyone who wanted one, no matter whether they were employed or not. He even acquired property for family members using false applications to ensure they benefited too.”

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