A ‘meticulous’ identity fraud

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A fraudster assumed the identities of two men to obtain false passports and accrue £600,000 in a charade lasting eight years.

David Wallace, of Hemingway, South Shore, used the false identities to get finance and mortgages on properties in the resort in what a judge called a “meticulously planned” offence.

Wallace, 67, pleaded guilty to four charges of obtaining property by deception, five of obtaining services by deception, one offence of concealing criminal property and another of converting criminal property.

Amanda Johnson, prosecuting, told Preston Crown Court: “It is the Crown’s case the defendant had engaged in fraudulent activity from about 2002, until the time of his arrest in March 2010.

“The Crown say he laundered sums obtained by buying and selling numerous properties in the Blackpool area and using the clean bank accounts of a third party.”

One of two identities he assumed was that of Eric McMahon, a vagrant who died in January 2007.

Wallace applied for passports and driving licences under his name and used them to apply for credit, despite being registered unemployed and receiving benefits throughout this period.

In a pre-sentence report, Wallace contended that Mr McMahon consented to him getting a passport in his name.

The prosecution said that a mortgage was obtained by deception for two properties on Belmont Avenue and Hinton Avenue in Blackpool.

Wallace would register the properties under his name and sell them to his daughter and then sell them to “Mr McMahon”.

It was not known if the daughter knew anything about what had gone on, however, the first building was sold again in October 2007 and the mortgage repaid.

In the 1990s, the defendant had been very successful, owning a number of properties, but his life spiralled into a series of offences.

Jonathan Lally, defending, said Wallace was very remorseful and sorry for the offences.

Mr Lally said: “Since 2010, he has tried to make amends as best he can.

“In the last two-and-a-half years he has done something to try and put something back into the community, raising money for charity and helping disadvantaged people.

“He is still associating with various charities and associations.”

Judge Cornwall said he would make a confiscation order in the sum of £365,000.

Wallace is due to be sentenced today.

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