Mortgage fraudster jailed for £1m scam

An ambitious property entrepreneur has been jailed for 32 months after he masterminded a £1m pound mortgage scam.

Married father-of-four Shazad Arshid built up his existing portfolio of buy-to-let properties by submitting fraudulent mortgage applications for a series of other premises in Huddersfield and Bradford over a four-year period.

Bradford Crown Court heard how Arshid, of York Avenue, Huddersfield, used false employment and income details on applications for mortgages and also recruited trusting associates to act as prospective purchasers because he had an county court judgment against his name.

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Prosecutor Imran Shafi told the court that Arshid, 37, was also involved in a £26,000 housing benefit fraud against Kirklees Council which centred on a multi-occupancy building at Swan Lane, Huddersfield. Mr Shafi said Arshid, who was a director of S and S Properties, rented out the Swan Lane premises and other properties to mainly eastern European tenants, but claimed housing benefit either for people not living at the addresses or for tenants who were also paying him rent in cash.

An investigation was launched into the housing benefit fraud in late 2007, but Judge Colin Burn was told that all of the overpayments had subsequently been recouped by the council.

Arshid, who had no previous convictons, admitted conspiracy to defraud Kirklees Council and further charges relating to the various mortgage applications, but his lawyer Rachim Singh submitted that none of the lenders had actually lost out as all the loans were secured against the properties and all the mortgage payments were up to date.

“It was really an ambitious person trying to expand his business...and no significant income has been derived from it,” suggested Mr Singh.

Arshid was sentenced to 30 months in jail for the mortgage offences with a concurrent term of 16 months for the conspiracy to defraud Kirkless Council.

Mohammed Razwan Nazir, 30, and 34-year-old Mohammed Shahid Nazir, both of Blackmoorfoot Road, Crosland Moor, were given suspended prison sentences for fraud. Zafar Arshid, 28, of Glebe Street, Huddersfield, was fined £5,000 after admitting obtaining a money transfer by deception in relation to one of the properties.