Four people have been sentenced after pleading guilty to fifteen counts including Conspiracy to Commit Fraud, Obtaining Money by Deception and Fraud, following an investigation by the South Wales Police Economic Crime Unit (ECU).
Audrey Osborne, 65, and her sons Gary Moore, 43, Clayton Moore, 46 and Ian Moore, 44 all from Neath, ran a mortgage brokerage business; Credence Finance Limited which they used to submit falsely declared income on mortgage applications then set up a property development company; Dreamscape Homes Ltd. This was used to deceive victims into investing money.
Shareholders of Dreamscape Homes Ltd were persuaded to invest under the premise that the company was building five, five-bedroom executive houses. These investors were later told that due to planning delays, the project had changed to a 21-property development. Victims invested a total of £307,975 into this, the majority of which was transferred into Audrey and her sons accounts as if it were their own.
Investors included a retired teacher who put in a portion of his retirement lump sum, another teacher who invested funds obtained because of a critical illness, and a couple looking to invest to help secure financial security for their children.
Another victim was convinced to take out a mortgage in their own name, for one of the plots owned by Dreamscape Homes Ltd. The victim was assured by Osborne and her sons that Dreamscape would cover the monthly repayments, but these quickly stopped.
Financial Investigator, Craig Brown said:
“The sheer amount of financial frauds that this family conducted against a large number of victims, and over the course of five years have made this investigation complex.
“The victims of these crimes were people with the best intentions, trying to make life better for themselves and their families, and Osborne and the Moore’s took advantage of this for their own financial gain.
“The Economic Crime Unit and I work very hard to unravel often very complex financial crimes, and I hope that our investigation shows that this kind of criminality will not go unnoticed.”
Audrey Osborne, Gary Moore, Clayton Moore and Ian More were each sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.