Sunday, 4 March 2012

High-Rolling Broker Jailed For Fraud

A Bentley-driving mortgage broker, who enjoyed a champagne lifestyle in a £1m house, has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for a property scam.

Olakunle Okubote, 50, (pictured) of Broughton Avenue, Finchley, North London was targeted by the Territorial Policing Payback Unit.

He was identified in 2008 by the London Crime Squad and a financial investigation into him and his company - ‘First Channel’ – followed.

The mortgage broker assisted criminals to obtain mortgages, providing them with false documents and information.

He secured cash discounts on new builds, which he kept, with the knowledge of the conveyancing solicitors, which ranged between £10,000-£20,000 on each property.

The lenders and borrowers were unaware, resulting in the borrower obtaining a mortgage larger than the purchase price. 

He concealed his activities by transferring funds between bank accounts in various names and identities.

The documents were verified by other brokers, believed to be an attempt to conceal his involvement.

Okubote received £15,000 after securing a mortgage for Michael Kolawole, who received 18 years in America for drug trafficking.

Akin Olojo, 28, of Foyle Road, Tottenham was arrested by the Territorial Support Group, based in Finchley, in possession of about £2,000 cash. 

TSG Payback Unit started financial enquiries into Olojo's financial affairs and discovered that he had mortgages in two different names, one of which contained false employment and identity documents, brokered by Okubote.

Hertfordshire Police arrested two others in a connected prosecution, who had a mortgage brokered by Okubote.

All of these investigations were joined, and enquiries were undertaken into the mortgage broker's affairs. 

The conveyancers have been independently dealt with by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. 

Okubote, Kolawole and Olojo were convicted after a five-week trial at Wood Green Crown Court.

Kolawole, 51, of Winchester Close, Walworth received12 months and was ordered to pay £2,000 costs and a confiscation order is ongoing.

Olojo received a suspended sentence and was ordered to pay £2,000 costs and a confiscation order is ongoing.

Further civil proceedings are underway to remove all the other available assets from Okubote, whose assets are restrained.

Detective Sergeant Jason Aldridge said: “Olakunle Okubote was a confident criminal.

“I am pleased that the prosecution team were able to successfully conclude the criminal proceedings.

“We plan to take away all their available assets through confiscation and civil recovery to ensure that every available asset is taken away from these individuals.”

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