|Money: Nicholas Forrester|
A son who secretly remortgaged his parents’ home to finance a buy-to-let property portfolio while claiming benefits has been jailed today.
Nicholas Leroy Forrester, 50, took out a £300,000 loan on the £1.5m six-bedroom Hammersmith property - his family’s home of thirty-five years.
He used the money to help purchase three properties in east London while having the rent paid on his own discounted housing association flat by taxpayers.
Father-of-two Forrester, of Perham Road, West Kensington was convicted of obtaining a £300,000 money transfer by deception between February 1 and June 30, 2006.
He also pleaded guilty to five counts of making a dishonest representation to obtain benefits, namely Jobseekers Allowance; Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit totalling £10,000.
He received three years and four months imprisonment on Friday after Isleworth Crown Court heard he deceived his 83 year-old dad Ivor Forrester.
“Your behaviour as far as your father’s property was concerned was profoundly dishonest and false representations were used towards your father and almost certainly your mother,” Judge John Dennis told him.
“It was well-planned, taking advantage of vulnerable individuals.
“You became fixated with the opinion that this house was your house and when the equity rose you were determined to strip it out to pursue your own commercial ventures, which did not go well.
“Your family has now effectively rejected you and your father feels let-down by you and defrauded.”
|Deceived: Ivor Forrester|
Forrester no longer owns the three investment properties, which included a house in Napier Road, Leytonstone he bought with the help of a £65,000 cash deposit.
Prosecutor Mr. Benjamin Waidhofer told the court the house was transferred to Nicholas in 1999 during his father’s bankruptcy, with his dad continuing to pay all the bills.
However, in 2006 he persuaded his parents to sign paperwork for a new loan. “The defendant had no right to make this application and Ivor would never have made it.
“This defendant was always saying the house was his in that it was going to be his inheritance.
“He claimed benefits as somebody who was unemployed, owned no properties and had no savings or income.”
The High Court returned the property title to Ivor, who continues to live there, but he must make the £1,100 per month repayments on the loan taken out by his son.
“He was in debt and out of work,” said Forrester’s lawyer Miss Sam Bonner. “The properties he bought were all repossessed and taken from him.
“The family relationships are very fractured now and he is extremely low, very stressed and extremely remorseful.
“This has taken a toll on him physically and mentally as well as financially.”