Monday 10 June 2013 by Catherine Baksi

A former solicitor was among five people convicted in a £20m mortgage fraud at Mold Crown Court last week.

Nicholas John Jones, 53, who at the time worked at Ravencourt Legal Services in Flint, was convicted along with two property speculators, a surveyor and a financial adviser, of conspiracy to defraud.

The firm ceased to trade in 2009 and Jones no longer holds a practising certificate. A sixth man was acquitted.

The case related to 189 mortgage applications made between May 2003 and June 2008.

The convictions follow a five-month trial in which the jury had to consider 50,000 items of evidence.

The prosecution said the fraud was carried out by inflating the true value of a property used as security, hiding the fact that in some cases no deposit was put down, or inflating the rental income potential to make the mortgage rate more acceptable. In some cases the properties on which mortgages were advanced did not exist.

Jones carried out the conveyancing work and submitted the fraudulent mortgage applications. During the trial he denied conspiracy, claiming that he was ignorant of the fraud.

But judge Rhys Rowlands said to him: 'You plainly knew what was going on. An additional feature in your case is that it is a very clear breach of trust that you owed to the lenders, which you breached.'

The five will be sentenced in September.

They were bailed with conditions to remain at their home addresses and surrender their passports. Jones was bailed to live at Bwlch-Y-Ddeufryn at Gwernaffield. They are all also subject to tagged curfews.

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