Court hears of model’s £1.2m property fraud case

first_imgThe dangers of property fraud for home buyers, vendors, agents and conveyancers have been highlighted vividly by a case currently going through the courts in London.Model Laylah De Cruz (pictured) and her mother Dianne Moorcroft are standing trial after several professionals were duped into enabling the fraudulent application for a £1.2 million bridging loan on a four-bedroom terraced house on Eagle Place in Kensington, London (pictured).De Cruz denies persuading her mother to change her name by Deed Poll and, by later impersonating the real owner of the property, persuading both a local high-profile estate agent and a conveyancer that she had the right to sell the £3.15m property, and later gain a bridging loan for it.The money was transferred to a Dubai bank account and withdrawn as cash before suspicious Land Registry personnel could do anything to stop the fraud.Whatever the outcome of the trial, the legal and property industries face a huge problem when faced with persistent and sophisticated property fraud and identify theft attempts, as this case highlights.Julian Blake of law firm Wiseman Lee, which carries out conveyancing work and undertakes property fraud cases, says there is little either solicitors or agents can do when faced with identify documents that are true, even if they had been obtained fraudulently.“Every law firm will go through their ‘known your client’ procedures, and we always want to see a current passport and a proof of address such as a recent utility bill to reassure us that the person we are speaking to is actually who they say they are,” he says.“But in a case where someone has changed their name by Deed Poll and then presented a passport and a utility bill in the new name, it’s very difficult for either agents or law firms to tell that they are not bona fide.”Julian says this case is a good example of why every home owner should register their property with the Land Registry’s Property Alert fraud wiseman lee January 6, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Court hears of model’s £1.2m property fraud case previous nextRegulation & LawCourt hears of model’s £1.2m property fraud caseDetails of case reveal the ease with which agents and solicitors can be dupedNigel Lewis6th January 201701,172 Viewslast_img

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