Mortgage fraudster pleads guilty

I often see people complaining that beneficiaries get prosecuted for relatively minor fraud while rich fraudsters get away with major crimes.

These cases don’t seem to have received much attention. Scoop: Fugitive Simon Turnbull pleads guilty to mortgage fraud

Simon Lawrence Wood Turnbull, who fled the country facing mortgage fraud charges, has pleaded guilty to 16 charges under the Crimes Act at Auckland District Court.

Turnbull was involved in a scheme whereby false loan applications were submitted to a funds management company to enable the purchase of 16 properties in and around New Zealand’s largest city between September 2006 and August 2007, the Serious Fraud Office said in a statement.

Property developer Malcolm Mayer was sentenced to six years in prison for his role in the fraud, valued at $47 million, in February 2014. An appeal by Mayer failed in May.

A six year prison sentence is a fairly hefty penalty. As it should be.

Turnbull will reappear for his sentencing on November 18.

“Mortgage fraud is taken seriously by the SFO. In a housing market which has enough challenges for the honest buyer, further costs to borrowing because of other people’s dishonesty is not acceptable. The SFO welcomes the guilty plea today,” SFO director Julie Read said.

All types of fraud should be taken seriously – as should successful convictions for financial/business crimes.

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