The £1m fraudster

A FRAUDSTER who tried to con two Fylde mortgage firms to fund a lavish lifestyle was today behind bars.

Melvyn Newton, 49, fraudulently obtained property worth more than 1m and tried to steal a further 617,000 in a series of mortgage, personal loan and credit card frauds.

The conman targeted companies in Blackpool and Fleetwood as well as other mortgage lenders across the North West as part of his eight-year scam.

Newton used at least 10 false identities, with matching false family histories, to obtain loans through mortgage deals under the pretence of home improvement requirements.

But Newton, of Bridge Street, Horwich, near Bolton, was finally caught out by police and was jailed for two years and eight months by Bolton Crown Court.

Newton was also successful in getting several personal loans, totalling 12,000, and credit cards, on which he spent almost 7,000.

Each time, he accompanied his applications with falsified official documents – wage slips and tax forms – in the names he was masquerading under that seemingly proved his identity.

His ruse began in 1997 but between May 2003 and February 2005 Newton applied to Northern Rock for seven mortgages, stating a different name and address each time.

Due to his sophisticated identity fraud approach, he was granted mortgages for houses in Lancashire, Cheshire, East Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

Each time, money was paid into a bank account in the name Newton was using and cash was withdrawn by daily instalments.

It is estimated that Northern Rock has suffered a net loss of 300,000 due to Newton's fraudulent claims.

Every house Newton used to apply for mortgages was eventually repossessed by the mortgage lender after it failed to receive any payment on the loan.

Newton was also successful in obtaining a home improvement loan from Lombard Direct in August 2003 totalling 5,000. None of this loan was ever repaid.

In July 2005, officers from Greater Manchester Police arrested Newton for an unrelated offence in which he was later found to have no involvement.

However, they found evidence of Newton's false identities and detectives from Bolton started compiling evidence.

Det Con Rick Armstrong of Bolton CID said: "This was systemic deliberate dishonesty over a protracted period of time.

"The extent of Newton's deception and the clever and calculated way he went about it is astonishing."

Newton admitted eight counts of obtaining money transfers by deception, three counts of obtaining services by deception, and one offence of using a false instrument, namely a UK passport.