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Tribunal upholds £80k fine against fraudulent mortgage broker

The Upper Tribunal has upheld an FCA decision to fine a mortgage broker £80,000 after he was found guilty of mortgage fraud last year.

Sole trader Amir Khan operated through Edinburgh-based firm Sovereign Worldwide.

The FCA found Khan submitted a personal mortgage application through Sovereign in 2009 that contained false and misleading information about his income.

He supported his application with fake payslips, then claimed the false information was correct when submitting a substitute application in May 2010.

The FCA also found Khan had been negligent as he had certified photographs of mortgage applicants he had not met.

In its warning notice, the FCA initially proposed a fine of £100,000. The Regulatory Decisions Committee, part of the regulator’s appeals process, later agreed a fine of £80,000, which has now been upheld by the Tribunal.

A separate fine of £3,300 relating to treating customers fairly failures is not being imposed on the grounds of financial hardship.

The Tribunal has ruled Khan has “more than adequate” resources with which to pay with total assets of £109,000, including three properties.

In its ruling, the Tribunal says: “We accept that a substantial financial penalty is required in this case in order to achieve the necessary deterrent effect, bearing in mind the prevalence of mortgage fraud, and the position of trust that a mortgage intermediary finds himself in.”

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