PHOTO: Mortgage fraud. FILE
Two Auckland residents have received prison sentences in connection with an $8.7 million mortgage fraud scheme.
WANT TO PROFILE YOUR BUSINESS WITH US?
Bryan Martin, found guilty last year on charges of deception and attempted deception, was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment on Wednesday.
Joshua Grant received a 28-month prison term.
The Serious Fraud Office Te Tari Hara Tāware (SFO) laid the charges.
Martin utilized a non-trading entity called Momentum Transition Developments and fabricated employment agreements for his wife, Sian Grant, and his then-partner, Vicki Cotter.
Between August 2015 and October 2016, they submitted 14 loan applications that falsely claimed the applicants were employed by Momentum.
To create the illusion of receiving regular salaries, they transferred funds between their private bank accounts.
Initially, mortgage applications were submitted through a brokerage where Cotter was a licensed broker, and later they were submitted directly.
In 2015, ASB approved a loan for a $1.1 million property in Flat Bush, with Cotter becoming the registered owner under her maiden name.
SFO Director Karen Chang emphasized that the severity of the sentence reflects the deliberate attempt to bypass lending restrictions. She stated, “New Zealanders heavily invest in property, and mortgages are a crucial aspect of the process. Lending restrictions safeguard both banks and borrowers, as well as the broader economy. Offenses like these erode trust between banks, mortgage brokers, and customers, potentially affecting future borrowers’ ability to secure loans.”
Sian Grant received a 12-month home detention sentence last year after pleading guilty to four deception charges and one attempted deception charge.
Cotter, who pleaded guilty in 2022, received a nine-month home detention sentence in July last year. During her sentencing, Cotter read a letter expressing remorse and a change in her vulnerability, regretting her previous trust in someone who deceived, bullied, and manipulated her.