Saturday, October 31, 2009

And still the leader of the council hasn't responded...

When this story came to light, I emailed George Dunning bringing this to his attention to the details about Persimmon homes instrumental involvement in the multi million pound mortgage fraud which had taken place in Thamesmead and which is being heard at Southwark Crown Court and asking him why our council was involving itself with a developer involved in such a scandal to such a large degree? He said that he would make further investigations. Despite having emailed him a couple more times, he still hasn't made any further comment about his investigations and what he intends to do about it.

It makes you wonder if he really wants to?

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council are In bed up to their necks with Persimmon Homes PLC.

They have, as Councilor Mark Hannon admitted in the press this week, spent THREE MILLION POUNDS OF PUBLIC MONEY assisting Persimmon Homes PLC in trying and get the Coatham scheme started. They have spent public money on things on behalf of Persimmon Homes, thet they should never have spent public money on. They are liable for the cost of a multi million pound sea defence which has to be built as part of the Coatham scheme and which is Persimmon Homes' sole responsibility. They have done all of this and spent all of that public money and are going to spend even more public money on a developer who involve themselves in multi million pound mortgage frauds.

Would you give your money to a dodgy car dealer? Of course you wouldn't. So why on earth is our council giving millions of pounds of public money to a developer who has been instrumental in a multi million pound fraud?

I wonder what the people of Redcar and Cleveland will think when they read this in our next news letter?

October 30, 2009


An estate agent accused of helping to run a £19m sub-prime mortgage con told his trial he just wanted to help people ‘get on the property ladder’.

Sierra Leonian immigrant Mohammed Barrie, 38, helped swindle millions in an elaborate scam in which construction giant Persimmon Homes played an ‘instrumental’ role, it is claimed.

Barrie’s gang made huge profits when they bought an entire block of flats from Persimmon at a knock-down price before selling on the individual properties, it is alleged.

Prosecutors say the fraudsters created dozens of fake financial histories for their ‘buyers’ so their mortgage applications would be approved.
They also submitted vastly inflated valuations for the flats, duping High Street lenders into handing over far more than the properties were worth to borrowers who had no hope of repaying the money.

The crooks then pocketed the profits - estimated as being at least £3.5m.
Barrie’s cousin Alim Barry who is the alleged mastermind of the scam fled the country with most of the cash and has not been seen since.
Mohammed Barrie told Southwark Crown Court that he thought he was working legitimately for his cousin.

Prosecutors say his role in the scam was to recruit ‘dupes’ from within the Sierra Leonean community to act as mortgage applicants for the flats in Thamesmead, South East London.
It is claimed he and others promised the ‘buyers’ that they could get a luxury flat without paying any deposit, presenting them with detailed prospectuses to persuade them to sign up.

One applicant was even recruited as he queued for groceries in the supermarket, it is said.

Barrie was paid at least £160,000 for five months work for his part in the scam, it is claimed.

But the defendant told the court that the clients would approach him themselves, usually at his local mosque after Friday prayers.
He said: ‘That’s where we met and they asked me if I could help them get on the property ladder.

‘They knew the relationship between Alim and me. They knew Alim was my cousin, and they knew I would introduce them to Alim as well.’
He added: ‘Alim approached me and says he’s buying property off plan, and asks if I can assist in introducing purchasers to him.‘That’s exactly what I did.
‘And he would give me commission on that for each introduction.’

Prosecutor Richard Mandel asked him: ‘You didn’t have to do any selling job at all, if I’m following you, and for that you got a very large sum of money.
‘Or is the position that you were engaging in fraud and the large sum of money, however large it was, was your cut of the fraud?’

The defendant replied: ‘No sir, it was not. I had no knowledge of the fraud.’
Alongside Barrie in the dock are his brother Muctaru Barrie, 29, mortgage valuers Brad Fisher, 44, George Sourou, 43, and Sofiya Ahmed, 28, accountant Dean Dairo, 48, and solicitor Okwuchukwu Izuchukwu.

Accountant Stuart Joseph, 43, has admitted inventing financial references for fraudulent mortgage applicants, the court heard.

Mr Mandel told the court that staff at Persimmon were ‘instrumental’ in creating inflated valuations for the flats so that mortgage lenders would part with more cash.

The court has heard Alim Barry’s shell company Atrex bought the 84 flats from Persimmon for £15.25m and sold them for £18.75m - a profit of £3.5m.

Alim Barry also owned rental properties in Leeds and Manchester, jurors heard.

Mohammed Barrie, of (78) Pinewood Ave, Dartford, Kent; Izuchukwu, of (139) Earlham Grove, Forest Gate, East London; Ahmed, of (153) Howard Road, Walthamstow, East London; Dairo, of (20) Eastern Ave, South Ockendon, Essex; Fisher, of (33) Tiptree Crescent, Ilford, Essex; and Sourou, of (21) The Crescent, Ilford, Essex deny conspiracy to defraud mortgage lenders.

Muctaru Barrie, also of (78) Pinewood Place, Mohammed Barrie and Izuchukwu deny conspiracy to launder criminal property.

Joseph, of (4) Furham Field, Pinner, Middlesex, has admitted seven specimen charges of false accounting.

The trial continues.


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