Hamish Fletcher

Hamish Fletcher is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

Seven charged in SFO mortgage case

Photo / NZ Herald
Photo / NZ Herald

Two women and five men have been charged this morning over an alleged mortgage fraud scheme involving over $9 million.

In a statement the Serious Fraud Office said it had laid 48 Crimes Act charges against the group, whose primary defendant is 44-year-old mortgage broker Eli Devoy, who also is known as Ellie Stone.

The SFO alleges that Devoy was involved in property transactions in the wider Auckland area between 2007 and 2010 which deceived banks into approving applications for mortgages. The SFO alleges false documents or information was provided to the banks.

Devoy faces 26 of the 48 "obtaining by deception" charges, which were laid in the Auckland District Court this morning.

The SFO first received complaints about Devoy in November 2011.

Six other individuals are accused of having taken part in the mortgage scheme, where the total alleged fraud is about $9.2 million.

The others allegedly involved - who all have been charged this morning - are Mehrdad Ghorbani, Mehran Ghorbani, Nasrin Kardani, Mehrzad Ghorbani, Hassan Salarpour and Javad Toraby.

The SFO says Mehrdad Ghorbani also goes by the name of Mohammad Ghorbani Sarsangi.

It says Mehran Ghorbani also goes by the name of Massoud Ghorbani and Ken Williams while Mehrzad Ghorbani goes by the name of Mehdi Ghorbani.

Acting SFO boss Simon McArley said this morning that financial crime increased the cost of credit and "has a direct impact on economic growth."

"SFO is keen to work with lenders to reduce offending in this area and augment the deterrent effects of SFO's prosecution functions with improved lending practices and procedures," he said.

- APNZ

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