FCA commences criminal proceedings for fraud

Following an investigation, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has commenced criminal proceedings against a financial adviser and accountant over mortgage related fraud

The proceedings relate to an offence of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation involving the two defendants, Larry Barreto and Tassib Hussain, and two further offences by Barreto of carrying on regulated activities without authorisation.

Barreto traded as Barreto and Partners, an unauthorised financial services firm based in Nottingham. Tassib Hussain is an accountant who ran Keystone Chartered Accountants also based in Nottingham.

The fraud charges relate to a series of mortgage applications made between January 2015 and March 2018. The alleged conspiracy involved mortgage clients of Barreto. If he concluded that they had insufficient income to justify the mortgage they required, Barreto would charge the client a fee which he would then pay in cash to Hussain, to create the false self-employment and employment documentation to support mortgage applications for clients with insufficient income. The total value of the mortgages applied for was estimated at £3.8m.

The unauthorised business charges relate to advice provided and arrangements made regarding a series of regulated mortgage contracts between June 2014 and March 2018. Barreto is an unauthorised and prohibited person and as such could not provide regulated financial services.

The two defendants appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 21 April 2021. The case was sent to Southwark Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on 19 May 2021.

Fraud is punishable by a fine and/or up to 10 years’ imprisonment. Unauthorised business is punishable by a fine and/or up to two years’ imprisonment.

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