POLICE are investigating 44 cases of “financial irregularities” connected to a Sunderland business, the Echo can reveal.
Detectives probing the dealings of the Washington Mortgage Centre have been sifting through records dating back several years after they were contacted by a number of concerned customers.
The business, based at The Galleries shopping centre, has become the centre of a Northumbria Police investigation relating to investment irregularities.
In January, officers carried out a simultaneous search of the centre’s premises along with a private home in the Durham area, seizing paperwork and financial records.
The business ceased operating in the shopping centre in mid-January, prompting concerns from investors.
After a police appeal, a number of customers have now come forward and given statements to detectives in regards to investments they have in the business.
One man who contacted the Echo said: “We have money tied up in this place, and we want to know what’s happened. I suspect there are a lot more people like us.
“We have contacted the police and told them what we know, but it makes you wonder how widespread this is.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said they were now examining 44 cases connected to the company and their inquiries were ongoing.
Police said they were not in a position to give details regarding the sums of money involved or the number of people affected.
However, officers are appealing for any other former customers to get in touch with them.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police, tel: 101.
l A 49-year-old man arrested in connection to the investigation remains on police bail pending further inquiries.