Eight deny £50m mortgage fraud

Click to follow

Eight people today denied taking part in a sophisticated £50 million mortgage fraud.

Six former solicitors, a surveyor and a property developer are accused of defrauding several banks and building societies by making a series of false mortgage applications.



All eight were granted bail and are expected to face trial at Southwark Crown Court in central London next year.



Four men and two women denied two counts of conspiracy to obtain money transfers by deception.



They were:



:: Chartered surveyor Ian McGarry, 41, from St Albans, Hertfordshire;



:: Property developer Saghir Afzal, 48, from Edgbaston, Birmingham;



:: Laurence Ferrigan, 48, of North Finchley, north London, a former partner at the CFB Partnership, based in Wanstead, east London;



:: Simon Lawrence, 49, from Winchmore Hill, Buckinghamshire, a former partner at Darlingtons Solicitors;



:: Former legal company owner Fatema Patwa, 48, from Harborne, Birmingham; and



:: Her former employee Hardeep Sodhi, 33, from Handsworth Wood, Birmingham.



The first charge involves a mortgage on the Concentric Works in Priory Road, Aston, Birmingham, between May 1 2004, and October 5 2005.



The second involves Tattersett Business Park in Fakenham, Norfolk, between April 1 2004, and September 2 2005.



Several of the defendants also deny various counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception on dates between July 14 2005, and January 15 2006.



Afzal and McGarry are charged with four counts, Patwa with three, and Sodhi and Ferrigan with two.



Two other solicitors - Kamran Malik, 31, of Birmingham, and Mark Knights, 45, of Cheshire - deny three counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception.



The inquiry, involving the Serious Fraud Office, was launched by West Midlands Police in March 2006.