Mortgage advisers avoid jail for £3m fraud

Mortgage advisers avoid jail for £3m fraud

Apr 18, 2024

Two mortgage advisers have been given suspended sentences for inflating the salaries of their clients to secure 11 mortgages worth £3m

Larry Barreto and Tassib Hussain faced trial for fraud offences in November 2023 at Southwark Crown Court after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) clamped down on their activities which took place between 1 January 2015 to March 2018.

After they were found guilty, Hussain was given a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work, while Barreto pleaded guilty to two counts of carrying on regulated activities without authorisation in 2022 and was given a two-year suspended sentence.

Hussain created fake HMRC documents inflating the incomes of Barreto’s clients using self-employment documents and payslips which aided the mortgage applications. These were then sent on to the lender by Barreto, who was aware of the criminal acts, and he would pay Hussain for this service.

Additionally, Barreto was advising clients on their mortgages for a fee, without FCA authorisation.

At court, HHJ Nicholas Cole said: ‘You are guilty of systematic mortgage fraud’ and have ‘abused your position…it ruins the integrity of the system to have dishonest players in it.’

Therese Chambers, joint executive director of enforcement at the FCA, said: ‘Larry Barreto and Tassib Hussain chose a selfish path in pursuit of their own greed. Their dishonesty unnecessarily put people at risk of taking out unaffordable loans and losing their homes.

‘Their offending also undermined the reputation of the industry, and the legitimate advisers that work in it.

‘These sentences should send a clear signal of the lengths we and the courts will go to catch and prosecute those who commit such acts of dishonesty. And for Mr Barreto and Mr Hussain the consequences of their offending will have far-reaching impacts for them beyond their sentences.’

The FCA has now begun confiscation proceedings to recover the money made by the defendants.