LONDON - City of London Police arrested eight people in dawn raids on March 10 for a suspected £40 million mortgage fraud. The alleged fraud involves more than 500 properties in the south of England. Officers searched six homes and three offices linked to East Sussex mortgage broker Eastbourne Financial Services (EFS), which is currently in liquidation. Charges against the eight men and one woman included conspiracy to defraud and money laundering, and were under referral from the UK's Financial Services Authority which had been investigating the firm.
The number of mortgage frauds and regulatory enforcements in the UK is rising as the financial turmoil unfolds. According to audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG, 25 UK mortgage fraud cases worth £36 million were uncovered in 2008 compared with only 10 cases worth £3.7 million in 2007.