Home > Mother and son are jailed after £2m mortgage fraud

Mother and son are jailed after £2m mortgage fraud

A mother and son have been sent to jail after conning lenders out of over £2m.

Antiques dealer Bonnita Read, 64, inflated her income on loan applications for a string of homes to make a ‘whacking profit’.

Once she had seen the profits roll in, Read then roped her son Niki Wood, 41, into the scam to make four of his own fraudulent mortgage applications.

Read was dubbed ‘too clever by half’ by the judge as he sentenced her to three years in prison.

The fraud, uncovered by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), involved forging certificates, letters of reference and paperwork to take out 16 fraudulent mortgages on properties in Essex.

A jury at Blackfriars Crown Court found Read, of Woodford Green, Essex, guilty of 12 counts of obtaining money by deception. Wood was found guilty on four counts of the same offence and jailed for two years.

SOCA’s investigation found that Read submitted her first fraudulent applications in the late 1990s to purchase houses in London. Using a self-certification mortgage, she had been able to falsify incomes, employment details, NI numbers and references.

Believing her system was faultless, she had then recruited her son into the family ‘business’ and between 1998 and 2008 mother and son used the sham mortgage applications to acquire 12 houses, ranging in value from £60,000 to £375,000. 

Some of the properties were bought and sold for a profit, while others were purchased for the buy-to-let market.

SOCA’s investigation also uncovered that Read and Wood’s business, Mill Lane Antiques in Woodford, was used to provide false employment and income details and references for other illegal mortgage applications. These references were then used to obtain mortgages for a number of other properties.

One  of  the ‘employees’, Frank Osaze Omoruyi, aged 41, from Dagenham, not only obtained false references from Mill Lane Antiques, but also allowed his identity to be used by people to gain employment when their immigration status prohibited them from working.

Omoruyi was also found guilty after the four-week trial.
A mother and son have been sent to jail after conning lenders out of over £2m.

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