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Five guilty of $9m mortgage scam

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/06/2016

An Auckland woman and four relatives or associates have been found guilty of carrying out a mortgage fraud scheme which netted $9.2 million.

Eli Devoy, also known as Ellie Stone, Eli Ghorbani, and Elaheh Ghorbani Sar Sangi, has been found guilty of 20 charges following a 10-week trial in the Auckland District Court.

The 47-year-old was the principle defendant and had earlier admitted four more charges.

Mehrdad Ghorbani, Mehrzad Ghorbani, Nasrin Kardani and Mehran Ghorbani, who have various aliases between them, were also found guilty or admitted to a total of 17 charges.

Two further people, Hassan Salarpour and Javad Toraby, were found not guilty.

The Serious Fraud Office laid charges against the seven in 2013 after investigations started in 2011.

It said over four years Devoy carried out 11 property deals in Auckland where the lenders approved mortgage applications based on false information and supporting documents.

The fraud was valued at about $9.2m.

It is an important case because the cost of borrowing is increased by this sort of fraud, says SFO director Julie Read.

The five will be sentenced on August 17.

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