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Police probe Northumbria fraud

Police in the North-east are conducting an investigation into a suspected major mortgage swindle involving a financial adviser and his family.

The Northumbria police economic crime unit is investigating allegations that false information was made on mortgage applications.

A number of applications were made to a variety of banks and lenders, according to police, who estimate that the amount involved could be as much as £2.2m.

It is thought the alleged fraud took place over a two-year period between January 2004 and November 2006.

Northumbria police said in a statement: “Three men and a woman have been charged in connection with offences involving mortgage fraud money transfers and will be appearing before Newcastle magistrates.”

One of the men arrested is independent financial adviser and mortgage broker Martin Watson, 52, of Ponteland, near Newcastle.

He is facing charges of conspiracy and obtaining money transfers by deception.

Paul Robertson, 49, of Gateshead, an accountant with Robertson and Co of South Shields, is also charged with the same offences.

Mr Watson’s wife, Mary, 50, and their son Leon, 24, also face charges in connection with the probe.

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