Mark Thorogood from Llandudno, had been found guilty by a jury of defrauding Emma Edgley, 57, of Pontllyfni, also in North Wales out of £28,000.
According to the Daily Post, in an emotional impact statement, Edgley told Caernarfon crown court “a friendly loan had turned into a nightmare” and forced her into selling property.
“Mentally my life was ruined,” declared the victim in the witness box. “I feel stupid and duped, I find it difficult to trust anyone any more. I don’t trust my own judgement any more.”
For years since the loan in 2010 Thorogood had fobbed her off when she asked to be repaid.
The Judge remarked: “This was in my view fraudulent activity over a sustained period. You deliberately targeted a vulnerable lady whom you knew very well.” It had affected “her physical health and general well being”.
Thorogood had already been fined £104,000 and judged not to be a ‘fit and proper person’ by the Financial Services Authority in 2010 (as was) and issued with a prohibition order after submitting fraudulent mortgage applications.
He had failed to comply with codes and principles and his company Property Park Mortgages was deemed to have failed to act “with honesty and integrity,” according to the prosecution.
Between October 2004 and May 2008, Thorogood traded as Property Park, a small independent mortgage brokerage and during that time he submitted fraudulent mortgage applications, failed to ensure compliant record keeping from the firm’s advisers and also failed to maintain adequate systems and controls to ensure suitable mortgage advice.
As a landlord, Thorogood also had a previous conviction for failing to comply with conditions of housing management and an improvement notice.
The prosecution described Emma Edgley, who had been a self-employed IT consultant, as “a prime target for a man wishing to defraud.” She had got to know the Thorogood family through her sister’s relationship with the defendant’s father.
A year before the loan she agreed to lend him £15,000 and he kept to an agreement to repay at £250 a month, thought to have been to gain her trust.
There had been a verbal agreement for her to transfer £28,000 in June 2010 for him to put in his solicitor’s account to await a mortgage. “It was agreed between them that he would repay the money to her within a couple of months. She had no reason to doubt him as he had, up until then, appeared to keep his word.”
Thorogood had sold several properties and in August 2010 he put £58,000 in his own account but still did not repay the defendant. The money in fact did not go into the solicitor’s account but was used for payments including outstanding mortgages on his own properties.
A Proceeds of Crime hearing is expected later this year.
After the case Edgley said she had no feelings about the sentence. “The damage has been done,” she said.