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Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The broker, the bank and the £3m con

Broker who stole homeowners’ identities in an attempt to defraud banks out of £3 million has been jailed for five years.

Financial advisor Feruza Mettrick, 33, plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud lending institutions of more than £500,000 during a hearing at Leeds Crown Court.

Mettrick’s double con involved using fake documents and utility bills so that she could rent properties and apply for loans from financial institutions.

She used her extensive knowledge of mortgage applications in order to act as if she was the real owner of the properties she targeted.

Helped by two men, she attempted to convince banks and building societies to give her cash advances for mortgages and loans.

The court heard how Mettrick, who managed to defraud banks and building societies successfully of £515,900, attempted to steal up to a total of £3 million from financial institutions, reports the Yorkshire Post.

Via letting agents, Ms Mettrick reportedly targeted properties that had no outstanding loans or borrowing against them.

Judge James Spencer said of Merrick: “She is a conman. I don’t accept anything she says.”

Targeting homes in Leeds, Harrogate and Batley, Merrick made attempts to sell properties without the actual owners’ knowledge.

In one of her deceptions, 33-year old Mettrick even took on the identity of a 67-year-old woman who owned a large detached bungalow on Chelmsford Road, Harrogate in order to gain a £120,000 home improvement loan.

Mettrick was arrested at the Harrogate branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland in September last year, wearing a wig and glasses disguise.

Prosecutor Nick Worsley said: “This is sophisticated, repeated and professional offending by a defendant adept at using disguise and subterfuge.”

He revealed that her failed attempts to secure funds through mortgage loans exposed financial institutions to potential losses of £2,459,250.

After her initial arrest, Mettrick refused to co-operate with the police or comment on the charges she faced, but later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud.

She now faces a proceeds of crime investigation.

 

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