England

Man sentenced in North East property fraud case

Peter Wardle arriving at Teesside Crown Court
Image caption Peter Wardle has been given a suspended prison sentence for his part in a property swindle

A fifth person has been sentenced for his part in a multi-million pound property swindle.

Accountant Peter Wardle, 68, of Witton-le-Wear, was given an 18 month suspended prison sentence after admitting furnishing false information.

His sentencing at Teesside Crown Court comes after four others connected to North East Property Buyers and Newcastle Home Loans were jailed.

Lenders lost £112m after the firms lied on mortgage applications.

The companies bought thousands of homes at knockdown prices from people who were struggling with mortgages and then offered to rent them back, the court heard.

But they defrauded banks by making false claims when borrowing money to build their property empire.

Wardle was also given a three month curfew and disqualified from being a company director for three years.

David Purdie, 57, of Dunston, Gateshead, Michael Foster, 43, of Houghton, Linda Patterson, 57, of Newcastle and Steven Keay, 54, of Ryhope were previously jailed.

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