Sick expat wife makes fraudster EUR 1.3m richer
7 July 2006, LONDON — A businessman who admitted building a property empire using fraudulent mortgages left jail EUR 1.3 million richer on Friday after his sentence was cut on appeal.
7 July 2006
LONDON — A businessman who admitted building a property empire using fraudulent mortgages left jail EUR 1.3 million richer on Friday after his sentence was cut on appeal.
David Edward Dale, 49, from Neath, Wales, was jailed for two years and ordered to pay a EUR 6.06 million confiscation order at Swansea Crown Court, in the UK, last year.
The appeal court said this was "too high" and also suspended the jail term.
The BBC reported the judge said Dale's wife in Spain had multiple sclerosis and needed his care, giving a "special circumstance".
The court heard Dale had persuaded his family and friends to apply for mortgages and built an empire of over 400 houses.
Last September he pleaded guilty to 29 counts of furnishing false information to lending institutions.
At London's Appeal Court Lord Justice Scott Baker, sitting with Mr Justice Mitting and Judge Brian Barker cut the confiscation bill to EUR 4.75m and replaced Dale's jail term with a suspended sentence - leaving him free to join his sick wife, who has moved to Spain.
The judge said that after Dale went bankrupt as an estate agent in the 1980s, he launched a career in property development by obtaining mortgages using false details, buying at least 57 properties unlawfully.
He later "went legitimate", building an empire of more than 400 houses. The properties were all offered for sale at reduced rates for first-time buyers.
The people who helped Dale did it for little or no reward above the "few hundred pounds cash-back incentives" offered by mortgage lenders, the court heard.
Dale took full responsibility for involving others in the offending.
Lawyers on his behalf argued that the sentence handed out should be cut - citing the "special circumstance" that Dale was desperately needed to care for his wife in Spain. She suffers from multiple sclerosis.
They pointed to the fact that, were he to serve the full two-year sentence, he would not be able to join his wife in Spain until September 2007.
Lord Justice Baker said: "Given the scale of the deception, two years was a moderate sentence.
"The sentencing judge gave every allowance for his prompt pleas of guilty. The sentence was not open to criticism.
"However, he has served seven months of the sentence and is eligible for home release on July 11."
The judge concluded that the fact Dale's wife needed his care and living in Spain amounted to a "special circumstance" that allowed him to suspend the two-year jail term.
He also ruled that the original confiscation order was too high, and cut it to EUR 4.75m.
Subject: Spanish news