London: An Indian-origin woman, working as a
mortgage adviser here, has been convicted to 18 months of
imprisonment for cheating customers.
40-year-old Shruti Patel, has been charged of duping her
clients and using nearly 170,000 pounds to pay for private
education of her children and buying a luxury car and
threatening to commit suicide if she was reported to the
Patel took loans and ran up debts in the names of two of
her customers, one of whom was her close friend. She
fraudulently used friend`s identity to obtain a mortgage, and
also opened bank accounts in her customers names.
She was formerly known as Swati Patel but changed her
first name by deed poll to Shruti since her arrest.
"An unsuspecting couple, who spoke little English, had
trusted Patel to help them get a 74,000 pounds mortgage to buy
their council house – unaware she had secretly acquired a
28,198 pounds loan in their names, using confidential
information they gave her," prosecuting lawyer, Jonathan Eley
told the Leicester Crown Court.
Unable to read English, they unwittingly signed loan
documents she presented to them in 2006 and when they queried
why their repayments were so expensive, Patel fobbed them off
with excuses, Eley added.
"In February 2008, a Money Advice Centre employee
unravelled the fraud before the couple and phoned Patel, who
confessed, but threatened to kill herself if police was
informed. She admitted to six frauds," he said.
The offences were committed between December 2004 and
"The victims suffered heartache and were worried, as they
saw it, by unwarranted demands for money from banks. She
obtained loans in their names and left them to pay for them.
No payments were made on the car, which was repossessed," Eley
Patel has also been banned from being a company director
for 10 years.
"She was motivated by greed to fund a lavish lifestyle
and it also enabled her to send her children to private
school," Simon Boden of the Leicestershire Police Economic
Crime Unit said.