Fraud crackdown for gangsters with hundreds of mortgages


POLICE and tax inspectors are cracking down on Scottish gangsters who are running 200 mortgages at a time.

As many families struggle to get a single mortgage crime bosses are “ludicrously” able to pay off hundreds through fraud, police say.

They have proposed a fee which will be placed on top of every new mortgage application which will help prevent organised crime abusing the system.

HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) are also checking income claims are accurate and in line with tax payments.


 Dirty money

Criminals are increasingly making and laundering dirty money through buying properties with false details and leasing them to other crooks.

They can then sell the houses on for inflated prices, but police plan to team up with banks to root our fraudulent mortgage claims.

Detective Chief Superintendent John Cuddihy, head of serious organised crime and couter terrorism with Strathclyde Police, said: “Crime groups can operate 200 mortgages. If it were you or I we would struggle to get a second mortgage , but they manage to get 200.

“They are then able to move other serious organised crime families into those houses.



“The equity or value of the house this year may be £100,000. Next year they will push it on to another organised crime family and overvalue it at £120,000. If you multiply it by 200 you can see how they’re making their money.”

He continued: “How ludicrous is it… that they are able to get 200 houses with mortgages, but the hard-working people on the street can’t get on the housing market?

“We are asking honest, hard-working people to be aware that a small routine fee could stamp out multiple mortgage application by serious organised gang members.

“We advocate that there should be a responsibility of the financial institution to have a link into HMRC.

“If you want to get a mortgage and you claim you earn £60,000 then you should be paying tax on that £60,000 and a simple check to HMRC should clarify that.

“If it’s £10 then, it should be built in.”




Edward Lyons, head of the notorious Glasgow crime family, had £75,000 confiscated from him earlier this year over mortgage fraud.

Lyons claimed he was earning up to £48,000 a year when he was making only £20,000 from working at Chirnside Community Initiative.

He made £74,ooo from selling on a property in East Kilbride, £30,000 of which was given to his daughter Ashley to open a tanning salon in Dundee.

In 2008, a gang of nine from Glasgpow were arrested over a £3 million mortgage fraud.

DCS Cuddihy said: “Serious crime groups  and have facilitators who can produce papers saying they earn £60,000 a year or £100,000 a year. Financial institutions currently just have to demonstrate due diligence.

“They ask for paylips etc, but that may come froma  pal who runs a company.

“We’re saying perhaps due diligence should go further to actually establish if they are contributing to society and paying their taxes.

“This is why we’re bringing in the banks and the building societies in to discuss  this and we have put this forward to the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce.”

HMRC recently trialed a project which allowed mortgage lenders to check suspected fraudsters tax returns.

A spokesman said: “The main purpose is  to help lenders prevent mortgage fraud.

“However, the sentence will also allow HMRC to gather valuable information about customers aho are committing tax fraud by wrongly declaring their income.”