Sunday, February 25, 2024

Second person sentenced in SFO’s $8.7m mortgage fraud case

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The Serious Fraud Office laid charges against several east Auckland residents relating to mortgage fraud. File photo Wayne Martin

A woman who took part in a multi-million-dollar mortgage fraud scheme with her husband and another couple was sentenced on Friday to 12 months’ home detention after pleading guilty to charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Sian Grant, whose address is given as Flat Bush on the Companies Register, pleaded guilty in August 2022 to four charges of obtaining by deception and one charge of attempting to obtain by deception.

Grant’s husband Joshua Grant and his associate Bryan Martin were found guilty in December following a trial for their part in the scheme.

Martin’s former partner, Viki Cotter, pleaded guilty in July 2022 and was sentenced to nine months’ home detention in January.

Both couples sought to invest in the Auckland property market, however did not have the income needed to secure loans.

Martin used a non-trading entity, Momentum Transition Developments, and created fake employment agreements for Cotter and Mrs Grant.

By moving money between their private bank accounts, the group were able to give the impression that they received regular salaries.

Mortgage applications were initially submitted through a brokerage where Cotter was a licensed broker, and later in person.

Fourteen loan applications were made between August 2015 and October 2016 which falsely stated the applicant was employed by Momentum.

In total, the four fraudulently obtained $8.7 million in loans. Five of the loan applications were in Mrs Grant’s name.

Sentencing for Martin and Mr Grant has been adjourned to April 6, 2023.

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