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Mortgage fraudster and chartered surveyor pays £1.5m confiscation order

  • 02/09/2014
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A mortgage fraudster and surveyor imprisoned in 2011 after admitting defrauding the Cheshire Building Society, Bank of Ireland, Societe Generale and the Nationwide Building Society in a £50m deception, has finally paid an overdue £1.5m confiscation order.

Ian McGarry, formerly a chartered surveyor and director at Dunlop Haywards, was ordered to pay the sum just over two years ago or face another six years in prison.

His partner-in-crime Saghir Afzal was ordered to pay £29,276,565 by Southwark Crown Court but that amount is outstanding adding an additional 10 years to his now 23-year sentence.

McGarry also paid a total of £157,342.87 in accrued interest, as he exceeded the six-month deadline by several months following the decision at Southwark Crown Court on 30 August 2012.

Ian Mark McGarry was sentenced in June 2011 to 6.5 years in prison for offences of conspiracy to obtain money transfers by deception and obtaining money transfers by deception.

In one of the biggest UK frauds ever, the chartered surveyor and property investor partners were jailed for a total of 20 years after admitting their roles in a £50m commercial mortgage fraud.

Ian McGarry, a former chartered surveyor and director at Dunlop Haywards Lorenz, from Hertfordshire, and Saghir Ahmed Afzal, from Birmingham, were sentenced to seven and 13 years’ imprisonment respectively.

In sentencing, Judge Beddoe said Afzal had headed up with his brother a “massive and carefully orchestrated confidence trick” over two years. The judge said very little of the money has been recovered and that the value of the fraud meant that the case was off the scale in terms of the sentencing guidelines for fraud cases.

Several aggravating features impacted the sentence handed down to Saghir Afzal, added the judge including the fact that Saghir Afzal personally benefited from the fraud and sent over £26m to Pakistan, where it remains under his control, or that of his brother Nisar Ahmed Afzal. The close partnership between the Afzal brothers meant their roles in the fraud could not be distinguished. A warrant for the arrest of Nisar Ahmed Afzal is still outstanding.

The judge described McGarry as “vital” to the fraud, which could not have been orchestrated without him, and branded his involvement as motivated by “rampant greed”.

The long running investigation began in 2006 when an anonymous tip off brought it to the attention of the West Midlands Police. Due to the scale and complexity of the case, it was referred to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

McGarry produced a valuation of £16m on a property in Aston, Birmingham, based on the understanding that three tenants had been lined up, against £10.5m with vacant possession. However, an investigation found the proposed new leases were bogus and the true vacant valuation of the property was £1.5m.

The firm that bought the property, Goldgrade Properties, defaulted on the loan and has subsequently been dissolved.

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