Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Recovery order of £50K made in case of Mortgage Fraudster in receipt of benefits

Lord Bannatyne has today issued his opinion in a civil recovery case involving Yvonne Kelbie, granting a recovery order in respect of approximately £50,000, being the free proceeds from the sale of a house initially obtained by Yvonne Kelbie using funds received from a lender as a result of the fraudulent mortgage application.  The proceeds will be remitted to the Scottish Consolidated Fund.

Scottish Ministers, represented by the Crown Office alleged in the Court of Session that Yvonne Kelbie obtained property through unlawful conduct, in particular, mortgage fraud. Lord Bannatyne has decided that Yvonne Kelbie lied in her mortgage application when she claimed to receive income from employment, when in truth she relied on state benefits. The full opinion can be read at the following link http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2013CSOH129.html

Speaking of the case Neill Thomson, Acting Head of Civil Recovery Unit, said: “Civil recovery proceedings can be used to recover property obtained through any type of crime.  In this case, the sum recovered represents financial gains from fraud perpetrated against a mortgage lender.  The CRU will continue to use civil recovery proceedings to target assets which have been obtained through crime.”

The Lord Advocate ordered the following to be published in the Crown Office website :

1. Yvonne Kelbie, DOB 25 September 1958, lives in Edinburgh

2. Yvonne Kelbie may appeal Lord Bannatyne’s decision within 21 days of the formal interlocutor which will follow.

3. The funds in the bank account amount to approximately £51,465.

4. Evidence in this case was heard on 13 March 2013 and 14 May 2013.

5. Proceeds of Crime legislation is also used by the Civil Recovery Unit acting on behalf of Scottish Ministers. The Civil Recovery Unit investigates and recovers the property realised through criminal activity of individuals, in the civil courts without the need for criminal conviction.

6. Since 2003, the use of the Proceeds of Crime Act in Scotland has allowed over £80million to be recovered from criminals. Money recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act is invested by Scottish Ministers. Over £50m of these proceeds have been put to excellent use by investing in a wide range of sporting, cultural, educational and mentoring activities for children and young people through the CashBack for Communities programme. Since the programme's inception in 2007, over 600,000 young people across Scotland have benefited. Details can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/cashback.

7. The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service is a committed member of the Scottish Government’s Serious Organised Crime Task Force. The Task Force has a remit to pursue serious organised crime in all its forms by bringing together all agencies involved in tackling organised crime groups. Task Force members include the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, the Lord Advocate, representatives from COPFS, the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, HMRC, SOCA, SPS and the Scottish Business Resilience Centre. Details of the work of the Taskforce can be accessed here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Justice/crimes/organised-crime.

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