POLICE are investigating alleged “financial irregularities” at a business based in a Wearside shopping centre.
Detectives carried out a search of the Washington Mortgage Centre, in the Galleries, Washington, yesterday lunchtime.
A simultaneous search was also carried out at a private home, with officers seizing paperwork and financial records.
Police are now appealing for anyone who may have concerns about money tied up in the centre to contact them.
Detective Inspector Steve Wouldhave, of Northumbria Police, said: “We have received a number of allegations of financial irregularity relating to investments made through the Washington Mortgage Centre over a number of years.
“Our investigations are at an early stage and it is too soon to give further details in terms of the sums of money involved or the number of people affected.”
The Echo understands the business premises in the Galleries closed two weeks ago.
David McNee, centre manager at the Galleries, said: “We were not notified of any intention to close this business and the lease on the unit remains active.
“We were told by Northumbria Police of their intention to carry out a search of the premises.”
Detectives stressed their inquiries were at an early stage but appealed to customers with concerns to come forward.
The company offers independent legal and financial advice to customers.
Det Insp Wouldhave said: “I would like to ask for anyone who has been involved financially with the Washington Mortgage Centre and who has any concerns to contact one of our officers on the 101 non-emergency number.”
There was no answer when the Echo tried to contact the business yesterday.