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Couple found guilty of property fraud after longest trial in history

  • 17/05/2017
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Couple found guilty of property fraud after longest trial in history
A couple have been found guilty of a property fraud scheme worth around £1.7 million, which centred on pushing vulnerable people in financial difficulties to sign over their homes.

Edwin McLaren, 52, and his wife Lorraine McLaren, 51, were convicted following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow which heard evidence over 320 days, making it the longest criminal trial in history. The trial began back in September 2015.

The fraud schemes, which included versions of ‘sale and rent back’, took place over six years and involved 24 properties.

The controversial sale and rent back market was closed down by the then regulator the FSA back in 2012, after it concluded that the schemes were either “unaffordable or unsuitable and never should have been sold”.

The couple, from Renfrewshire, will be sentenced next month.

Detective Superintendent Andy Lawson, described the couple as “heartless” and “driven by greed”, noting that some victims had been left penniless and homeless by the fraud.

He added: “In some instances, [McLaren] pretended to individuals that he would give them a loan to pay off their mortgage and other debts when in fact, he had arranged the sale of their property to an associate.

“He then continued to further deceive those victims by obtaining proceeds from the fraudulent sale from the victim. The fraud continued by using this cash as deposits for the next fraudulent transaction.”

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