Fraudster Jailed After Stealing £75k Home
A con woman has been jailed for 20 months after changing her name by deed poll, and selling a £75,000 house, without the real owner knowing.
Sarah Broadbelt took out a passport under her new identity of Marion Patterson – the legal owner of the property – and opened two bank accounts, conning the solicitors involved in the sale that she was indeed the legal owner of the property.
Whilst she was instructing the solicitors on the sale of the property, the firm noted that according to the documentation, Broadbelt bought the house when she was six years old.
However, as part of the deceit, she managed to persuade the firm that the reason for this was due to a trust being in place.
Convinced by this lie, the solicitors released the funds and sent it to the newly opened bank accounts, with the cash subsequently withdrawn over the course of five to six days.
The house, which Ms Patterson was renting out after moving to Cornwall from Northamptonshire, was valued by an agent at £200,000.
Broadbelt would have gotten away with her crime if Ms Patterson didn’t decide to sell the property, only to be informed it had already been sold four months earlier.
Jane Sarginson, prosecuting, told Birmingham Crown Court it was a “brazen and calculated” fraud that “struck at the heart of the conveyancing system.”
Broadbelt admitted charges of fraud and possessing a false identity document.
Passing his 20-month sentence, Judge Michael Chambers QC, told Broadbelt:
“You played a prominent role in a sophisticated fraud to deprive the owner of the house its ownership.”
Antoine Muller, defending, said:
“This was someone else’s device, but she did actively participate.
“They needed a lady because of the name on the deed and she played the actress.”