Mortgage fraudsters jailed for forging wage slips but sister walks free

A fraudster and his mortgage broker associate have been jailed after forging wage slips to help buy four houses.

Ejaz Ul Hassan, 33, cooked up the scheme to defraud Abbey and Nationwide banks when he couldn’t obtain a mortgage as he wasn’t fully declaring his income to the Inland Revenue.

He worked at Safestyle UK Ltd as a salesman on a commission only basis but did not declare his income to the tax man.

It was there that he met Nadeem Ghani, 30, who only worked with the company for a few weeks before leaving to become a mortgage broker at Citri Ltd.

Ul Hassan approached Ghani for assistance and instead of obtaining a standard mortgage they devised the plan to forge wage slips to ensure that Ul Hassan got a better mortgage product.

Ul Hassan, of Dewhirst Road, Huddersfield, then involved his sister Shaista Afzal, 35, in the fraud by submitting an applications in her name for two properties.

They claimed she was working at a jewellery shop that had no record of her on the payroll.

Ghani, of Shetcliffe Lane, Bradford, received commission for each of the successful applications totalling £1,200 once all four had been completed.

The homes were on Stanley Road, Halifax; Dewhirst Road, Huddersfield; Lawrence Road, Huddersfield; and South Avenue, Fartown, Huddersfield, and were worth a total of £425,000 when they were purchased in 2007.

The total amount of mortgage advances received was £344,000 with Ul Hassan contributing £81,000 of his own money.

Peter Higginson, defending Ul Hassan, said that he has never actually missed a repayment and has sufficient income to cover all four mortgages.

All three initially pleaded not guilty with Ghani changing his plea on the day of trial and standing as a witness for the prosecution.

Ul Hassan and Afzal, of Hollin Terrace, Huddersfield, stuck to their not guilty pleas but were found guilty by a jury following a 12 day trial.

Abdul Iqbal, defending Ghani, highlighted that the offences had taken place five years ago when his client was a young man and he had not had a blemish on his record before or since then.

Afzal’s counsel, Soheil Khan, said the mother-of-three had a “strong work ethic and would never trouble the court again”.

His honour Judge Robert Bartfield sentencing Afzal said: “I am satisfied you were used but you knew what you were getting into. There will have to be a prison sentence but for many reasons, not least that you are a committed mother, it will be suspended.” She was given a nine month sentence suspended for a year.

Ghani was sentenced nine months in prison while Ul Hassan was jailed for two years.

Detective Constable Ash Nuttal of the Calderdale POCA Team, said: “It was a set up which appeared to be working until financial irregularities were discovered by West Yorkshire Police.

“This has been a thorough investigation which has uncovered the fraudulent activities of these three and today’s sentences should serve was a warning to those who think they can get away with committing fraud.”

Confiscation proceedings are now underway to recover the proceeds of the trio’s crimes and they will be dealt with at a later court hearing.