Millions taken in loan case

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A ONE-TIME mortgage broker led a multimillion-pound fraud which stole identities to trick lenders.

Father-of-five Michael Robinson was at the centre of the “spider’s web” as he and associates sought to satisfy a greed for cash.

Teesside Crown Court heard the 45-year-old, from Webb Avenue, Murton, worked as a mortgage broker, but convictions for dishonesty meant he could no longer work officially when regulation was brought in.

He enlisted help from others he knew through work and Freemasons to be his “foot soldiers”.

The case centred on using details of people genuinely selling homes owned outright and a real person to apply for mortgages supported by fake documents.

Applications for five high-value properties totalling more than £2.2million were made and of that, £1.7million-plus was paid out, with almost £1.3million still missing.

Cash was distributed to the network, including finance experts and legal workers.

Another con used details of an associate, who then claimed he was the victim of identity theft.

Robinson is to be sentenced after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud by misrepresentation, after a fuel card scam and breaching a restraining order through a loan, and conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to convert criminal property.

He and 11 others will learn their fate today after a series of hearings where some admitted guilt and others stood trial.