Large mortgage fraud case comes to an end

A long running $8.7 million mortgage fraud case has finally come to an end in Auckland.

The case involved two couples who were accused of using fake employment agreements to obtain money from banks. 

After a six week trial at Auckland District Court, Bryan Martin and Joshua Grant have been found guilty.   

Grant’s wife, Sian Grant, and Martin’s former partner, Viki Cotter, earlier pleaded guilty to their part in the scheme.

The case was brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). 

It alleged that both couples sought to invest in the Auckland property market, but did not have enough income to secure loans.

As a result, Martin used a non-trading entity, Momentum Transition Developments, to create fake employment agreements for Cotter and Mrs Grant.

By moving money between bank accounts, the group were able to give the impression that they received regular salaries.

Mortgage applications were initially submitted through a brokerage where Cotter was a licensed adviser, and later in person.

The SFO case said 14 loan applications were made in 2015 and 2016, leading to loans worth $8.7 million. The scheme was focused on the Flatbush area of Auckland,.

The SFO Director Karen Chang condemned these actions. 

“This type of criminal offending is ultimately harmful to New Zealanders who seek mortgage finance in good faith but miss out because lending was taken up by others through fraud,” she said.  

Martin, and Mr and Mrs Grant will be sentenced on March 15 and Cotter on January 12.

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