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Convicted drug dealer jailed for £400k mortgage fraud

  • 10/01/2017
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Convicted drug dealer jailed for £400k mortgage fraud
A convicted drug dealer and husband of a millionaire has been jailed for five-and-a-half years for several offences including defrauding mortgage lenders out of loans worth over £400,000.

Graham Stewart, 43, Deauville Road, Aintree, used false documents and lied about his job and salary in order to obtain mortgages for properties in Liverpool and Lancashire, the Liverpool Echo reported.

The mortgage-related crimes were committed between June 2004 and April 2007.

Detective chief inspector Dean Holden, from the specialist crime-fighting unit Titan, said: “We are pleased that a three-year investigation into the lies, deceit and ultimately fraud committed by Graham Stewart has resulted in this custodial sentence.

“Stewart’s fraud was not a victimless crime and over time ran to over £400,000, meaning Stewart led a lifestyle most of us can only dream about.”

Stewart was also convicted of benefit fraud, concealing criminal property and theft.

He purchased a BMW for £58,000 on finance, then cancelled the direct debit and sent the car overseas to Cyprus, in his brother’s name where it could not be traced.

Filing for bankruptcy in November 2010, Stewart admitted to Liverpool Crown Court he had hidden assets which could have helped to clear the debt. These included two villas in Cyprus and a Rolex watch worth around £35,000.

Stewart’s past is littered with convictions, one of which saw him convicted to seven years in jail for conspiracy to supply heroin in 1999.

He was released from prison on licence in 2002, beginning his fraudulent spree in 2004.

His wife, Kate Stewart, 34, is the former owner of Liverpool’s iconic Heritage Markets. She wrote a letter to the Judge Neil Flewitt, QC, claiming her husband was a changed man but the judge did not share her view.

“The remorse he demonstrated appeared to be for the consequences of being discovered,” the judge said.

He was cleared of two charges of assault against his wife in 2016. After making a statement about the alleged incident, she later withdrew it.

Detective chief inspector Holden said his officers would be looking at using powers under the Policing Crime Act, which allows them to seize the assets of criminals.

The money or assets seized can be used by law enforcement agencies to help apprehend more criminals, he added.

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