Two Nottingham businessmen with links to the property industry are to be prosecuted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) over a multi-million pound mortgage fraud scheme the pair operated for three years.
The duo are 65-year-old Larry Barreto, who ran an eponymous financial services firm based in the city, and accountant Tassib Hussein, 41, who ran Keystone Chartered Accountants.
The criminal prosecution relates to an offence of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation involving both defendants and two further offences by Larry Barreto of carrying on regulated activities without authorisation.
An investigation by the FCA found that the pair completed the frauds between 2015 and 2018 involving mortgages to the value of £3.8 million. Barreto is being prosecuted for running an unauthorised financial services business.
Mortgage clients of Barreto’s who failed lenders’ affordability tests were offered a paid-for service that allowed them to overcome these problems and secure home loans.
This mortgage miracle was achieved by Hussein, who was paid by Barreto to forge financial documents including false self-employment and PAYE slips and other employment documentation for Barreto’s clients.
Barreto and Hussain appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and the case was sent to Southwark Crown Court for a Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing on 19 May 2021.
Fraud is punishable by a fine and/or up to 10 years’ imprisonment. Unauthorised business is punishable by a fine and/or up to 2 years’ imprisonment, the FCA says.