Birmingham & Black Country

Eight deny role in £50m fake mortgage application scam

Eight people have denied taking part in a £50m mortgage fraud.

The six former solicitors, a surveyor and a property developer appeared in court accused of defrauding banks and building societies through false mortgage applications.

All were bailed and will face trial at Southwark Crown Court in London next year.

The inquiry, involving the Serious Fraud Office, was launched by West Midlands Police in 2006.

Four men and two women denied two counts of conspiracy to obtain money transfers by deception.

They are chartered surveyor Ian McGarry, 41, from St Albans, Hertfordshire; property developer Saghir Afzal, 48, from Edgbaston, Birmingham; former solicitors Laurence Ferrigan, 48, of North Finchley, London, Simon Lawrence, 49, from Winchmore Hill, Buckinghamshire, former legal company owner Fatema Patwa, 48, from Harborne, Birmingham; and her former employee Hardeep Sodhi, 33, from Handsworth Wood, Birmingham.

Deception charges

The first charge involves a mortgage on the Concentric Works in Priory Road, Aston, Birmingham, between May 2004 and October 2005.

The second involves Tattersett Business Park in Fakenham, Norfolk, between April 2004 and September 2005.

Several of the defendants also deny various counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception on dates between July 2005 and January 2006.

Afzal and McGarry are charged with four counts, Patwa with three and Sodhi and Ferrigan with two.

Two other solicitors - Kamran Malik, 31, of Birmingham, and Mark Knights, 45, of Cheshire - deny three counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception.

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