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20 Oct 2016

Fraudster loses fight to keep his flat

Sean Martin Doherty has been refused permission to appeal against a High Court order for his property in Princess Road to be handed over to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The court had heard the 59-year-old was serving a prison sentence for benefit fraud when he bought the flat for £55,000 in 1998 with a fraudulently obtained mortgage.

He had paid the five per cent deposit using his ill-gotten gains and used a false identity, supported by a fictitious reference and fake declarations of income.

There is an outstanding sum of £30,000 left to pay on the mortgage of the property, which has rocketed in value by 700 per cent since he bought it.

Doherty had questioned the legality of NCA’s application using the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Stephanie Jeavons, deputy director for the NCA’s economic crime command, said:
Civil Recovery is a really effective way of denying criminals the benefit of their crimes, and that includes investments. The Proceeds of Crime Act allows the NCA to recover not just the original purchase price of the property but also the increase in the value of the property over the intervening years.
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