Conman ordered to pay back millions after mortgage scam

By Matthew Bates 20/01 Updated: 20/01 12:52

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Michael Browne, from Canley, has been ordered to pay back over £2 million after committing major mortgage fraud. (S)

A FRAUDSTER who amassed millions of pounds in a mortgage scam has been stripped of his fortune.

Michael Browne, from Canley, was ordered to pay back £2,395,429.79 at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday or face seven years in prison.

The 50-year-old built a property portfolio across the city on the back of false mortgage applications and even bought a Spanish mansion, which he renamed Casa de Miguel Browne.

His six-bed villa was raided in 2008 by West Midlands Police officers investigating financial irregularities emerging from a major drugs bust.

Browne was jailed for three years and handed a further 12 months last March after continuing to direct his assets while in prison.

He admitted fraud and must pay back the cash within six months or face jail time again, as well as still owing the money on release.

Detective Sergeant Chris Bates, from the Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: "Browne acquired significant wealth through an organised con for many years and admitted fraud at court when faced with the overwhelming evidence we'd gathered against him.

"Many others have been convicted and many others are still being investigated and prosecuted.

"Any criminal who thinks police investigations end upon court sentencing must think again because we will fight to recover any money or property we believe has resulted from their criminal activity.

"The people of Coventry must understand we will go after these criminals who flaunt the wealth they have gained even though they don't appear to do a day's honest work. It takes time but we will get them.

"His assets will remain restrained by order of the court until he sells them and hands over the money. If anyone has any further information about assets he owns or he tries to sell then I'd urge them to contact police."

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