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Five sentenced to total of 21 years for country's largest ever mortgage fraud

06/09/2013

Five people from North Wales have been sentenced to a total of 21 years in prison at Mold Crown Court today (6 September 2013) for their parts in what the court heard was the biggest mortgage fraud ever investigated in England and Wales.

Among the conspirators were former police officer Antony Lowry-Huws, his wife Susan Margaret Lowry-Huws, and his business partner Sheila Rose Whalley. Solicitor Nicholas John Jones and surveyor Frank Edward Darlington were also co-conspirators.

The longest custodial sentence of seven years was handed down to Antony Lowry-Huws, who the court heard was the ringleader of a fraud believed to have been worth more than £50 million and to have involved more than 1,000 bogus mortgage applications.

Elspeth Pringle, specialist fraud prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The scale, duration and sophistication of this fraudulent scheme are a demonstration of criminal behaviour at its most devious.

"The actions of the five members of this mortgage fraud ring were motivated by nothing more than greed, and their willingness to betray the trust of mortgage lenders for personal profit seemed to have no limits.

"Each of the co-conspirators sentenced today had their own specific role to play in this intricate crime, and all were fully aware of the deceitfulness of their actions.

"The successful prosecution of these individuals should act as a deterrent to anyone engaged in similar activity, particularly those occupying positions of trust within their profession.

"This was an exceptionally complex case, and we would like to thank everyone from the investigation and prosecution teams that worked so hard to help to bring these criminals to justice."

Additional information

The scheme involved a range of mechanisms, including false property valuations and submission of fraudulent paperwork relating to rental incomes and deposits. The court heard that in many of the cases, the property against which the mortgages were secured simply did not exist.

Each was convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud in relation to 189 fraudulent mortgage applications made between May 2003 and June 2008, which was a representative sample from the over 1,000 applications made.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.