Top cop in mortgage fraud trial

Ryan Fowler

January 7, 2015

Chief inspector John Buttress has been accused of letting out a farmhouse in Wrexham to holidaymakers without declaring it to mortgage lender Intelligent Finance.

The Manchester Evening News reports that Buttress originally purchased the farm in 2007 with his then wife.

However following a breakdown in his marriage that led to divorce Buttress applied for a £185,000 remortgage but failed to mention at any stage that he that he planned to turn the property into holiday lets.

The court heard that Buttress sent an email to a colleague in which he said he would spend £30,000 to “do up” the property for “two lucrative lets”.

Crown prosecutor Gerald Baxter said Buttress had misled the mortgage lender when he applied for his remortgage.

He said: “Mr Buttress benefited first of all by obtaining a mortgage which otherwise would have been refused and secondly because he was avoiding any interest and penalties that might have been applied for letting it out.”

And The Manchester Evening News, who has a reporter at the trial which is taking place today, quotes a witness as having said Buttress would have faced a £4,070 penalty had the lender been aware of his actions.

The witness, Anne Fisher, a fraud investigator for Intelligent Finance, also told the court that Intelligent Finance would have told Buttress to find another lender had it known his intentions.

She said: “They [the adviser] would more than likely advise the customer if they were going to use it as a let they would need to look for another mortgage provider.

“If the customer was only moving temporarily because of work and the property was still in his name only they can on occasions let the property for a period of time.

“Obviously, there’s a financial issue and a higher rate they would charge on the mortgage.”

Despite failing to mention at any stage that he planned to let out the property to holidaymakers Buttress denies any wrongdoing.

He also denies any dishonesty or that he intentionally withheld information from his mortgage lender relating to the purpose of the property being mortgaged.

The trial continues.

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