17 Aug 2016

Mortgage scam ringleader jailed for five years

8:56 pm on 17 August 2016

The ringleader of an extensive mortgage scam involving $9.2 million worth of property has been jailed for five years.

Eli Devoy, also known as Ellie Stone, was found guilty on 20 charges, having admitted to four others prior to the trial, relating to obtaining by deception.

The 47-year-old, along with her two brothers and two other relatives, were collectively convicted of 41 charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office, relating to a three-year scam.

The Serious Fraud Office said documents such as deposit slips and wages were falsified in order to trick banks into lending more than $5.8m.

It involved the group buying 11 properties in Auckland, usually at mortgagee sales, and selling them at ramped-up prices.

Sentencing Devoy in the Auckland District Court, Judge Brooke Gibson said her role was pivotal to the success of the scheme, along with her familiarity with the documents and the system, having worked as a mortgage broker.

Her brother, Mehrdad Ghorbani, was jailed for two years and seven months, and her other brother for 10 months.

Another relative received seven months home detention.

Her sister-in-law will be sentenced at a later date.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs