Mortgage fraudster heading to prison

Auckland woman, Eli Devoy, was sentenced to five years in prison in the Auckland District Court today for involvement in an extensive mortgage fraud scheme.

Wednesday, August 17th 2016, 12:43PM

by Miriam Bell

In June, a jury found socialite Devoy, who was also known as Ellie Stone, Ghorbani and Elaheh Ghorbani Sar Sangi, guilty of her part in the $9.2 million scheme.

The scheme involved a series of property transactions between 2007 and 2010 which deceived lending institutions into approving mortgage applications that contained false information and supporting documents.

Six other parties were involved in the scheme but the Serious Fraud Office, which laid 48 charges against the group, considered Devoy to be the ringleader.

Devoy was found guilty of 17 charges in relation to the scheme.

When sentencing Devoy today, Judge Brooke Gibson said there was a high level of "pure deceit and dishonesty" in her offending.

Judge Gibson also told Devoy there was a complete absence of remorse on her part and that her protestations of innocence verged on fantasy.

Imprisonment was the best option for Devoy, Judge Gibson said.

As such, she was sentenced to five years in prison with a minimum period of imprisonment of two years and six months.

The other defendants were Mehrdad Ghorbani (also known as Mohammad Ghorbani Sarsangi), Mehrzad Ghorbani (Mehdi Ghorbani), Hassan Salarpour, Nasrin Kardani, Mehran Ghorbani (Massoud Ghorbani, AKA Ken Williams) and Javad Toraby. 

Mehrdad Ghorbani was sentenced to two years and seven months in prison.

Mehrzad Ghorbani was sentenced to 10 months home detention.

Mehran Ghorbani was sentenced to seven months home detention.

Nasrin Kardani, has been remanded on bail until 9 September 2016 for sentencing.

Hassan Salarpour and Javad Toraby were found not guilty.

SFO director Julie Read welcomed Judge Gibson’s decisions which she said demonstrate there are significant penalties for those who do not provide truthful information to banks and lenders.

Read has previously said the case is important for genuine buyers who are applying for mortgages as the cost of borrowing is increased by this sort of fraudulent conduct.

“We will continue to work with banks who are targeted with false information.

“Every lender should be monitoring this risk and people applying for mortgages should be aware that there are significant penalties for those who do not provide truthful information.”

Tags: mortgages

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