Large-scale mortgage fraud investigation underway

SFO investigating highly organised teams involved in mortgage fraud.

The Serious Fraud Office is investigating large-scale mortgage fraud in the Auckland property market involving developers, company directors, valuers and lawyers.

"Auckland's property market and the scale of impending commercial developments represent a key environmental risk," the SFO says.

"We have invested significant resources into investigating a large-scale mortgage fraud involving highly organised teams of property developers, shell company directors, property valuers and lawyers."

The SFO says the investigation is ongoing and declined to comment further.

In a separate case taken by the SFO, former mortgage broker Vicky Ravana Letele was last month convicted of fraud in the Auckland District Court over a scheme where she sold properties to low income families for a profit, using forged documents to allow them to obtain home loans.

The SFO established she had conspired with Ramni Kumar to obtain mortgage finance for low income families using false documents. The finance was then used to purchase properties from interests related to Letele and Kumar, who profited from the transaction.

Auckland's property market is running hot as construction of new houses fails to keep up with demand from an influx of migrants.

The SFO has also previously probed allegations of fraud and corruption in the rebuilding of earthquake damaged Christchurch.

(BusinessDesk)

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