Ex-solicitors, surveyor and developer charged with £50m mortgage fraud

FOUR former solicitors were among six accused who appeared in court yesterday to face charges involving a a £50 million mortgage fraud.

The accused – who also included a surveyor and a property developer – were at the centre of an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

Investigators alleged that several banks and building societies were defrauded in a series of false mortgage applications.

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The suspects appeared at Southwark Crown Court, London, where their case was adjourned until 1 March.

In court were: chartered surveyor Ian McGarry, 40, of Hertfordshire; property developer Saghir Afzal, 47, of Birmingham; two Birmingham-based solicitors – former legal company owner Fatema Patwa, 47, and her former employee, Hardeep Sodhi, 33; Laurence Ferrigan, 48, a former partner at the CFB Partnership, based in Wanstead, east London; and Simon Lawrence, 48, a former partner at Darlingtons Solicitors in Edgware, north London. All six were released on bail.

Lawrence left Darlingtons Solicitors on 31 May, 2005.