A fraudster has been imprisoned for 20 months after legally changing her name to sell a property without the owner’s knowledge, the Birmingham Mail has reported.
Sarah Broadbelt changed her name to the same name of the legal owner of the property, Marion Patterson.
Broadbelt attained a passport under this new name to sell the £175,000 property.
She used the false document to open two accounts, which the money was paid into.
Marion Patterson had moved out of the property in Quinton years before to live elsewhere, but had been renting out the property.
Patterson had been warned it was allegedly being used for benefit fraud by tenants before she put it onto the market.
The theft by Broadbelt was uncovered in February 2016 when Patterson had tried selling the property but was told it had already been sold in October 2015.
Judge Michael Chambers QC told Broadbelt in court: “You played a prominent role in a sophisticated fraud to deprive the owner of the house of its ownership.”
Jane Sarginson, who was prosecuting the case, told Birmingham Crown Court the owner of the property now has full ownership once again.
The person who paid for the property was also reimbursed.