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UK: Alick Kapikanya stole £3.5million in elaborate mortgage

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Fraudster who enjoyed champagne lifestyle and even gambled £170,000 in a single night after stealing £3.5million in elaborate mortgage scam is jailed

  • Alick Kapikanya, 45, visited victims’ homes pretending he wanted to buy
  • Employed team to pose as owners to solicitors, asking to sign over homes
  • Scam across Cheshire, Lincolnshire and Manchester netted £3.5million
  • Kapikanya used fortune to fund chauffeur-driven limousines and hotel stays
  • He has been jailed for 7 years, six co-conspirators also convicted

By Mia De Graaf

A con artist who concocted an elaborate £3.5million mortgage scam to fund his luxurious lifestyle has been jailed.
Alick Kapikanya, 45, stole the identities of elderly homeowners, secretly seized ownership of their houses and then repeatedly remortgaged them.As homeowners fought to reclaim their properties, Kapikanya travelled in chauffeur-driven limousines, stayed in luxury hotels, and gambled his fortune.

Once, he splurged £170,000 in a single night.

Kapikanya, who was today jailed for seven years, visited victims in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lincolnshire, pretending he wanted to buy their homes.

He employed a team of fraudsters to pose as the elderly and widowed homeowners, asking solicitors to sign over their properties.

With the help of bankrupt property developer Marshall Joseph, the gang secured million-pound loans against the homes from independent financiers.

The plot successfully netted £3.5million in loans, and attempted to secure another £3.3million.

Kapikanya paid £1million of the money into accounts at Mayfair casinos.

The scam started in March 2007, and went undetected for months.

Finally, one of the loans companies raised concerns, sparking a seven-year investigation by Greater Manchester Police to prosecute Kapikanya and his co-conspirators.

Joseph has been jailed for four-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud and a bankruptcy offence.

Three of the gang who posed as homeowners were convicted.

Irene Perciful, 50, of Cambridge, has been jailed for 12 months after being found guilty of conspiracy to defraud.

Peter Tanner, 54, of Cambridge, was given a 15-month sentence suspended for two years, with 140 hours unpaid work.

Myra Trigg, 57, of Moss Side, was handed a 32-week sentence suspended for two weeks, with 80 hours unpaid work.

Another conspirator who banked £50,000 of the proceeds, Bruce Robertson, was jailed for 30 months.

Chris Campbell, 31, handled nearly £8,000 of the money. After pleading guilty to acquiring criminal property, he was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years and 140 hours unpaid work.

Fraudster_Alick_Kapikanya

Speaking after the conviction, widowed victim Gwyneth Cooke, 59, described her ordeal.

Mrs Cooke, whose husband John died in 2000, was diagnosed with breast cancer just weeks before the trial.

She discovered the scam when a solicitor told her she owed money on the home she had lived in for 27 years in Worsley, Greater Manchester.

She said: ‘I was absolutely horrified.

‘All they had were a few utility bills and documents and someone was able to get a loan on my house pretending to be me.

‘I would never ever forgive them for as long as I live.

‘I have the satisfaction of seeing some of them go to prison. But I think they should all have got 100 years’ hard labour with no remission.’

Sentencing, Judge Robert Atherton said: ‘The homeowners in Walkden Road were either widows or widowers for whom their homes are very precious, particularly as they grow old and spend time with memories of life when they were not on their own.

Devastated: Widowed Gwyneth Cooke, of Worsley, Greater Manchester, was one of the victims

Devastated: Widowed Gwyneth Cooke, of Worsley, Greater Manchester, was one of the victims

 

‘The sheer anxiety of thinking they may lose their homes must have been a serious concern.’

Ben Southam, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: ‘When the defendants were arrested they had succeeded in defrauding various financial institutions of £3.5million, and had attempted to raise a further £3.3 Million.

‘Each of them had their own specific role to play in this fraud, and all were fully aware of their actions. The mortgages and loans were obtained against houses they did not own, and without the knowledge of the real home owners.

‘The true owners knew nothing about the loans being secured against their homes and were caused considerable distress and inconvenience to prove to the lenders that they knew nothing about the loans.

‘We will also continue to make full use of the POCA legislation to ensure that criminals do not benefit financially from their illegal activity and we are currently pursuing the ill-gotten gains of Bruce Robertson, Alick Kapikanya and Irene Perciful.’

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