10:33 AM, 15th June 2011, About 13 years ago
A £50million mortgage fraud said to be ‘off the scale in terms of the sentencing guidelines for fraud cases’ by a judge has resulted in a combined 20 years in prison for a property investor and a chartered surveyor.
Saghir Ahmed Afzal and Ian McGarry were charged in 2009 along with six others and plead guilty to six counts.
Saghir Aszal was sentenced Tuesday to 13 years for two counts of conspiracy to obtain money contrary to s1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and four counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception, contrary to s15A(1) of the Theft Act 1968.
McGarry has been sentenced for seven years after pleading guilty in September last year to two counts of conspiracy to obtain money transfers by deception contrary to s1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and four counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception, contrary to s15A(1) of the Theft Act 1968.
The deception came to the attention of the Police after an anonymous tip-off of a dubious sale of a property to the Cheshire Building Society; the case was turned over to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
SFO Director Richard Alderman commented on the outcome, saying “I am very pleased with the result; the principal defendants have received hefty sentences which reflect the seriousness of the offences”.
The investigation uncovered numerous documents and digital material such as hard drives, which showed the Bank of Ireland, Société Générale and the Nationwide Building Society had been defrauded along with the Cheshire Building Society. The frauds were carried out through a string of false documents, fake leases and the bribing of McGarry to over-value properties.
Nisar Ahmed Afzal, the brother of Saghir, is believed to be in Pakistan and is wanted by the SFO for his role in the fraud.