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Written by rosalind renshaw

Former valuer Ian McGarry has been sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to seven years in prison for his part in a £49m mortgage fraud – one of the UK’s largest-ever scams.

McGarry, who was head of City valuations at property consultancy Dunlop Haywards, had given valuations on six properties which were up to 19 times their true value.

Judge Beddoe said he could find “no explanation” for McGarry’s role in the scam other than “simple and frankly rampant greed.”

McGarry blamed a culture at his employers of “optimistic” valuations of properties. He also blamed the banks for failing to carry out due diligence.

He was sentenced alongside Saghir Afzal, one of two brothers accused of instigating the fraud.

Afzal received a prison sentence of 13 years and was disqualified from being a company director for 14 years.

He claimed that his brother, Nisar, who is missing, was the ringleader and told the court he had simply been “used and abused”.

But Judge Beddoe said: “It seems to me that the two of you were in a close partnership where one cannot operate without the other.”

The Afzal brothers gave bribes thought to have totalled over £1.2m  to  McGarry to provide fraudulent valuations, which were used to secure around £50m in loans from banks. Over half the money, £26m, was sent to Pakistan, where the Afzals have business associates and family members.

The brothers also arranged for solicitors to create fake leases and made their loan applications through mortgage brokers.

Six solicitors connected to the case have been acquitted in recent weeks, but Judge Beddoe said “a lot is still unsaid” in relation to the roles played by other professionals.

The Serious Fraud Office has decided not to pursue the retrials of three of the solicitors after the jury could not reach a decision. Three other solicitors were found not guilty.

Dunlop Haywards, a subsidiary of Erinacious Group, went into liquidation two years after the Cheshire Building Society first alerted the Serious Fraud Office in 2006.


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    Since I posted previously about not commenting on an ongoing case, I can advise that anyone is now entitled to comment on this case as the judge has passed sentence.
    There has in fact been a further development today as McGarry is to appeal against his sentence which his solicitor says is 'manifestly excessive'.
    My comment is that seven years in prison (and out in two?) hardly reflects the enormity of this 'professional' crime. But as a number of solicitors have walked free from the court, doubtless the surveyor feels hard done by.
    It could be that by appealing against sentence, he gets it extended. Anyone care to campaign for this cause?

    • 15 June 2011 16:03 PM
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    I think the "sub" has disappeared and it is now just plain "judice".


    Sorry - one of those mornings.

    On a more serious note

    Everyone (nearly) seems to have got what they deserve...

    The perps are either on the run or going to jail.

    And it lloks as though the Money Laundering Regulations may have helped - or not.

    • 15 June 2011 13:16 PM
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    At risk of death or worse I will ask... can we comment on THIS story??

    • 15 June 2011 11:21 AM
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