Two rogue operators guilty of arranging £3m mortgage fraud

An accountant and a former financial adviser have been found guilty of making £3m worth of fraudulent mortgage applications, following a prosecution brought by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Larry Barreto, based in the East Midlands, was found guilty of 11 charges of fraud by false representation.

At an earlier hearing, Barreto pleaded guilty to two offences of arranging and advising on regulated mortgages without FCA authorisation.

At the start of the trial, his co-defendant, Tassib Hussain, a chartered accountant partner at Keystone Chartered Accountants before it was dissolved in 2021, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation.

Sentencing for both men will take place on 23 February 2024.

Between 1 January 2015 and March 2018, Barreto gave advice to clients looking to take out residential mortgages without the necessary FCA authorisation. The FCA alleged that in 11 cases, he also dishonestly inflated the mortgage applicant’s income in their application to the lender.

Barreto had previously been struck off as a financial adviser by the Personal Investment Authority in 1996 and prohibited from carrying on regulated activity by the Financial Services Authority in 2004.

On this occasion, he charged the client a fee which he would then pay in cash to his accountant, Hussain, who created false self-employment and employment documentation to support mortgage applications for clients with insufficient income.

Hussain also produced multiple documents purporting to have been issued by HMRC and containing false income figures, which in each case were sent on to the lender by Barreto.

Hussain, with Barreto’s approval, also claimed to employ two of the applicants to create a false impression of their income, producing false contracts of employment and payslips in support, which were also forwarded to lenders.

As a consequence  of the fraud, lenders granted mortgages to several applicants on a false basis, placing lenders at greater risk of loss.

Steve Smart, joint executive director of enforcement, said: “Mr Barreto and Mr Hussain knowingly lied and misled their clients and mortgage providers in order to benefit financially from mortgage applications. This put borrowers at risk of taking on unsustainable levels of debt, and left lenders open to losses.

“The verdict demonstrates our commitment to tackling fraud and sends a warning to anyone involved in similar criminal activities that we will pursue them, so they face the full force of the law.”



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One Comment

  1. Woodentop

    And they would have been operating under the mantra, qualified and licenced. Who would have thought this would have prevented dishonest conduct!


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