The gang produced at least 80 fraudulent mortgage applications potentially worth £9m, eventually obtaining £4m of funding from lenders.
Gwent Police, which conducted the investigation, confirmed to Mortgage Solutions that four of the fraudsters were mortgage brokers or financial advisers, with another a retired bank manager and two being accountants.
It added that they supplied falsified employment details and proofs of income in relation to mortgage applications without the knowledge of the mortgage applicants and conducted this throughout the UK.
Organised crime group
Detective Constable Ed Middleton who led the investigation said: “Operation Oyster has been a long running investigation into a large-scale mortgage fraud.
“This fraud was run by an organised crime group consisting of a number of professionals including accountants, ex-bank managers and mortgage and financial advisors and was a multi-million pound fraud spanning a lengthy period of time.
“After a lengthy and complex investigation which started in 2012, Peter Gay, a retired bank manager, Kenneth Bacon and Omer Mian, who were both accountants, and Michael Bishop, Robert Maxwell, Supriya Misra and Malcolm Pow, who were mortgage and financial advisors, were charged with offences of conspiracy to defraud financial institutions.
“All were found guilty,” he added.
Undermine public confidence
According to press reports the gang, who were based in South Wales, also received thousands of pounds in commissions and other payments during the process.
Sentencing them at Cardiff Crown Court, Judge Martin Fitton said they had ignored “the sorts of considerations an honest broker or building society agent would wish to fulfil.”
He added that these actions, which were conducted on an almost industrial scale “undermine public confidence in the mortgage system as a whole,” the South Wales Argus reported.
Conspiracy to defraud
The members of the group either pled guilty or were convicted of a range of offences including conspiracies to defraud and making or supplying articles for use in fraud:
- Kenneth Bacon, 66, of Efailwen, Carmarthenshire was jailed for five years;
- Robert Maxwell, 69, of Six Bells was jailed for four and a half years;
- Michael Bishop, 39, of Singapore was jailed for four years;
- Peter Gay, 64, of Whitchurch, Cardiff was jailed for three years and nine months;
- Supriya Misra, 39, of Church Village, Pontypridd was jailed for two years and nine months;
- Omer Mian, 45, of Conway Road, Newport was jailed for two years and five months;
- and Malcolm Pow, 57, of Heol Towy, Caldicot was jailed for two years and two months.
Five year operation
The frauds were conducted over almost five years beginning in January 2009.
Gay, who was working as a business development officer at Abbey National (as was) in Neath, participated in supplying the false payslips. He left the business in June 2009.
Maxwell, who had previously been a company finance director, had been training new mortgage advisers at Mortgage Upkeep then moved to Aspect.