A self-proclaimed financial adviser and his wife have been found guilty of a £1.7 million property fraud plot after the UK’s longest ever criminal trial.
Edwin Mclaren, 52, appeared before the High Court in Glasgow on charges of defrauding homeowners in a prosecution that started in September 2015. His wife Lorraine, 52, was convicted of involvement in the scam as well as one charge of mortgage fraud. She has been released on bail.
Mr Mclaren’s plot involved promising loans to homeowners in exchange for a share in their homes, ultimately depriving them of ownership and pocketing the proceeds from the subsequent sales.
The fraudster, who lived in a £760,000 mansion in Renfrewshire and owned a yellow Bentley, was able to put his children through private school and give his wife a £100,000 six carat diamond ring.
Mr Mclaren would target people in vulnerable situations who had been unable to get bank loans because of their vulnerable financial positions, the court heard.
He was found guilty on 29 charges, with sentencing deferred until next month. Proceeds of crime proceedings have been started against him.
Detective Superintendent Andy Lawson said the victims have been left completely distraught and homeless.
It took more than four years for the police to unpick the network of banking transfers and legal documentation for 24 properties that made up the £1.7 million conspiracy which spanned a six-year period.