Devoy guilty of $9.2m mortgage fraud

The complex scheme involved 11 properties in the Auckland area.

An Auckland businesswoman, as well as some of her relatives and associates, have been found guilty of conceiving a complex mortgage fraud scheme worth about $9.2 million.

Eli Devoy, 47, was today found guilty and convicted of 20 Crimes Act charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office as the principal defendant in an extensive mortgage fraud scheme.

She had pleaded guilty to four charges before a 10-week trial in the Auckland District Court.

The SFO says Devoy conducted property sales and purchases between July 2007 and December 2010, which deceived lenders into approving mortgage applications that contained false information and supporting documents.

It says the scheme involved 11 properties in the Auckland area, and was worth about $9.2 million.

Mehrdad Ghorbani, Mehrzad Ghorbani, Hassan Salarpour, Nasrin Kardani, Mehran Ghorbani and Javad Toraby were all named as defendants in the case.

Messrsd Salarpour and Toraby were found not guilty while the others were either found guilty of a number of charges or had pleaded guilty before the trial.

Devoy, who is also known as Ellie Stone, Eli Ghorbani and Elaheh Ghorbani Sar Sangi, is of Iranian descent and was first charged by the SFO in 2013.

SFO director Julie Read says this was an important case because the cost of borrowing is increased by this sort of fraud.

“We will continue to work with banks who are targeted with false information.

“Every lender should be monitoring this risk and people applying for mortgages should be aware that there are significant penalties for those who do not provide truthful information.” 

The defendants will be sentenced in August.

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