Property fraud sees mother and daughter jailed
A mother and daughter who tried to take control of a £3million Kensington property are to be jailed.
31-year-old Laylah De Cruz and her mother Dianne Jean Moorcroft were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud, in a case which was originally heard in January.
In 2014, along with various others, the pair conspired to rent a four-bedroomed Kensington property. By changing her name through deed poll, Moorcroft was able to adopt the name of the deceased owner. She subsequently opened bank accounts in Dubai using a passport in the homeowners’ name, before applying successfully for a £1.2 million loan against the property.
This loan had been approved in October of 2014, with the funds being sent to the bank accounts Moorcroft had in Dubai. Later withdrawn in cash, these funds have not been recovered.
After Land Registry reported suspicious activity around the Kensington property, an investigation was launched later that month into suspected property fraud.
In February 2015 Moorcroft was arrested at her home, whilst De Cruz was arrested in May 2016 having just returned from Dubai.
De Cruz has been sentenced to five years in prison whilst Moorcroft faces three.
HM Land Registry Director of Legal Services, Alasdair Lewis, commented on the decision, stating: ‘Property fraud causes a huge amount of distress to its victims and today’s custodial sentences properly reflects the serious nature of the crimes.
‘This case highlights the importance of taking steps to protect your property from fraud, particularly if it is tenanted or left empty.’