Men jailed after lengthy and complex fraud investigation

Two Liverpool-based men have been jailed recently for a total of 14 years for fraud, following a six-year-long investigation.

Graham Wortley and Robert Ware were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud after carrying out a “sophisticated” mortgage scam over a period of three and a half years.

The investigation proved that the men had encouraged loan firms to give them short-term bridging loans against properties they had purchased.

They then sent forged documents to HM Land Registry in order to get rid of the protection offered to lenders by suggesting that the properties were no longer subject to mortgages.  They were then able to refinance or sell the properties to other individuals, including wealthy investors from Saudi Arabia.

The damage done to innocent businesses during the scam was extensive, with one company losing around £3 million, while a firm of solicitors was forced to go into administration after being unwittingly caught up in the illegal activity.

This not only had a devastating impact on the law firm’s partners but also their staff, some of whom lost their jobs. HM Land Registry also suffered financial losses.

At Liverpool Crown Court in October Wortley was sentenced to six years in prison and Ware to eight, with a spokesman for Mersey side Police noting that it had been “very satisfying” to see that justice had been secured for everyone affected by their crimes.

As the senior investigating officer in the case commented, “fraud can and does devastate individuals and businesses”. She added that the sentences passed down to the two men should illustrate how seriously police and the courts take such matters.

According to the National Crime Agency, businesses and individuals in the UK lost £2.46 billion in the financial year 2021/22, a 17 per cent increase on the year before. However, many steps that a business takes to prevent being scammed, the sophistication of the fraudster means that even the most vigilant can sometimes be caught out.

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “This case proves that even the most protected organisations, such as the Land Registry, can fall victim to complex fraud.

“Significant forensic investigations were required to unveil the depth and sophistication of this substantial fraud offence.

“In cases such as these, police and the courts often rely on the advice and evidence provided by forensic accountants, who are able to piece together, through extensive records, accounts and data, a pattern that is able prove or disprove that the offence has taken place.”


Sources: Liverpool

Posted in The Forensic Blog.