A 50-year-old mortgage broker who admitted swindling £290,000 by falsifying mortgage applications has been jailed for three and a half years.
Gordon Benville, of Wellington Parade, Walmer, near Deal, had premises at The Limes Business Centre in Deal, trading as a financial adviser under the name Kingsfield Commercial Funding.
Some of Benville's victims were pensioners who came to view him as a trusted friend and many had been left in financial instability as a result of his activities.
One pensioner couple who had a business in Sandwich lost £66,000. Another pensioner wanted to put £4,000 in savings bonds for her grandchildren but Benville pocketed the money. He had repaid £105,000 of the total £390,900 originally paid to him.
When Benville appeared at Canterbury Crown Court in June, he admitted 16 charges of obtaining money transfers by deception and fraud between October 2001 and September 2007 and was remanded in custody until the sentencing.
Christopher May, prosecuting, said when making applications for people seeking to re-mortgage properties, Benville had inflated application figures when he filled in the details resulting in mortgage companies advancing more than the borrowers wanted.
When they sought Benville's help in sorting out the overpayments, he diverted substantial sums to his own purposes and business.
Two members of the public went to the police in 2007 with concerns about their mortgages and financial status following guidance from Benville and he was suspended by the FSA in October 2007 and his assets frozen.
Sentencing Benville, a former Royal Marines bandsman, Judge Timothy Nash said Benville's behaviour was 'wicked' and 'outrageous'. A former officer of the FSA, Benville had been responsible for training but resorted to the very thing it was his job to teach others to avoid.
He said Benville brought shame on the FSA and honest mortgage brokers and betrayed the trust of people who had become close friends. "Rubbished by your dishonesty as you desperately tried to keep a business doomed to fail, going."
The judge referred to the heartache and anxiety of Benville's victims, many of whom were in court for the sentencing, and said he had no idea of the suffering his selfish conduct had caused. "You are selfish and your conduct is utterly dishonest."
Until it was recently re-possessed, Benville lived in a five bedroom house with swimming pool.