Nine stand trial over six-figure mortgage fraud
01 June 2011
A network of nine, including one man who posed as an ad hoc ‘introducer’, have been charged for their part in an elaborate mortgage fraud.The group fabricated stories regarding their occupations and financial situations in order to acquire numerous mortgages between 2005 and 2008.Despite the dishonesty used to attain the large sums of money, the court was informed that there were no arrears on the mortgages.The group includes the landlady of a Middlesbrough pub Catherine Beadnall, 54, John Francis Howard, 55, Christopher Howard, 28, John Ronald Howard, 31, the ‘introducer’ James Hewison, 32, Anthony Mett, 33, Austin Johnson, 24, Thomas Kucinskas, 39, and Mandy Louth, 47.The pub landlady Catherine Beadnall, of Penistone Road Middlesbrough consistently lied in her mortgage applications, claiming that she earned £21,000 a year, when in reality she earned £900. In court she was given a six-month prison sentence which was suspended for two years.Beadnall’s ex-husband was also part of the fraud ring, John Francis Howard of Tavistock Road, Middlesbrough was handed an eight-month sentence in court which was suspended for two years, after obtaining a mortgage of £105,000 by providing false information.The former couples’ two sons, Christopher Howard and John Ronald Howard, also faced charges. Christopher was given a six month sentence suspended for two years after admitting one charge of fraud. John Ronald Howard admitted a charge of attempting to obtain £86,925 fraudulently and was handed a six month sentence, also suspended for two years.James Hewison, of Ingleby Road, Great Broughton, dubbed the “introducer”, helped the other fraudsters obtain these mortgages and was jailed for twelve months at Teesside Crown Court for his part in the scams. The court heard how most of the group had met Hewison at the Park End Hotel Pub, in Middlesbrough.The ease at which all nine managed to be approved worth mortgages has in part been blamed on pre-recession lending criteria.Prosecuting Tony Hawks said: “These offences happened when the financial market and the willingness of lenders was very different to what it is now.”The sentences handed to others in the group were as follows:Anthony Mett, of Amersham Road, Middlesbrough was given a four-month sentence suspended for two years for obtaining a £68,500 mortgage by deception.Austin Johnson, of Cranmore Road, Middlesbrough was given a two-year community order for attempting to acquire a £115,000 mortgage by deception.Thomas Kucinskas, who has since moved to Lithuania, was given a four-month sentence suspended for two years after obtaining a £55,000 mortgage by deception.Mandy Louth, of Bridge Street East, Middlesbrough, was given a four month sentence suspended for two years for obtaining money by deception.