Conveyancer jailed for £1.25m mortgage fraud
Humaira Shah of Luton, submitted the bogus applications to a string of lenders attempting to defraud the banks out of £3m, reported the BBC.
Last Friday, Shah was convicted of six offences of fraud and 11 counts of converting criminal property. By the time police caught her, she had managed to obtain £1.25m from submitting the fake applications.
According to the BBC, Shah was part of an organised crime network and had been recruited because of her position as a property conveyancer, the court heard.
She had previously been struck off as a legal executive in 2009 for other offences.
The jury was told she had made arrangements to start a new life in Liberia and had opened a bank account and started a new company there.
She also committed the fraud with local businessman Zyed Zeeshan Maroof, who is thought to have fled the country with much of the money.
The money had been paid into bank accounts and then quickly withdrawn or transferred. Judge Michael Kay was told that £1m was still outstanding.
In 2008 Shah had opened two law firms, S&S Solicitors and Huma Law, both based in Luton.
Jonathan Kirk QC, prosecuting, said: “She used the respectability of her profession in an attempt to defraud mortgage companies of nearly £3m.” Also in the dock was Syed Mohammed Kamran of Ilford.
Kamran, Maroof’s brother, was convicted of two offences of converting criminal property and jailed for nine months.
He was said to have received £62,000 from the frauds. Shah denied all charges and was found guilty by the jury.
The court was told others had corrupted Shah and she had made only a relatively small amount from her crimes.
The court heard she is suffering from depression. Sentencing Shah, the judge told her: “The structure of buying properties on mortgage depends on the honesty and integrity of conveyancers.”