FOUR people - two property developers, a lawyer and a surveyor - involved in a multi-million pound mortgage fraud have been jailed for a total of 21 years.
The main players behind the illegal venture – former policeman Anthony Lowri-Huws, 65, of Parc Tudor, Kinmel Bay, got seven years and developer Sheila Whalley, 67, of Tai Duon Bach, Llanfair TH, Abergele, received six years at Mold Crown Court.
Both were disqualified from being company directors for ten years.
Solicitor Nicholas Jones, 54, from Mold, and surveyor Frank Darlington, 62, from Vicarage Road, Kelnbrook, Lancashire got four years each.
Huw’s wife Susan Lowri-Huws, 60, of Park Tudor, Kinmel Bay, said to be on the periphery and under the influence of her husband, received a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years with 300 hours unpaid work.
All denied conspiracy to defraud but were convicted following a four month trial earlier this year.
The prosecution valued the fraud between £15 and £24 million but Judge Rhys Rowlands for sentencing purposes dealt with them on the £6 million figure put forward by the defence – the difference between what lenders paid out and what they would have paid out if the applications were genuine.
The jury heard the case involved 189 mortgage applications with lenders duped into lending thousands of pounds in mortgages on properties across North Wales, Cheshire and the North West.
The prosecution said the deceit was achieved by inflating the actual value of the property used as security, hiding the fact that in some cases no deposit was put down or inflating the rental income potential to make the mortgage rate more acceptable.
In some cases apartments on which mortgages were advanced did not exist.
The judge said Huws and Whalley had set out to establish a huge property portfolio with other people’s money hoping property prices would continue rising but it was “built on sand” then the property crash came in 2007.
He said the offending of Anthony Lowri-Huws and Whalley – said to have dedicated her time to caring for her husband who had suffered a stroke – was down to “pure greed, plain and simple”.
Anthony Lowri-Huws, formerly a North Wales police constable, took his wife's name when he re-married, calling himself Anthony Hughes, and lived in the Holywell area.
Darlington provided false valuations and rental income figures and Jones, formerly of Leeswood near Mold, a well known defence solicitor who did the conveyancing work for the purchases and the mortgage applications.
Jones who had given up his practising certificate and faced disciplinary proceedings as a solicitor, had retrained as a teacher and been lecturing at Llandrillo College.
All defendants denied conspiring to defraud and conspiring to falsify documents between May 2003 and June 2008 to induce false finance and mortgage payments.