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Working together to combat fraud

Land Registry has been involved in the recent successful conviction of a woman believed to be Britain’s most prolific female fraudster.

Land Registry provided information to the Met and the City of London Police to help them secure a conviction against Maria Michaela, 33.

As part of her activities, Michaela visited Land Registry offices in London to purchase official copies of registers. CCTV footage of these visits was provided to the police to support their investigations as well as alert them to her possible targets. When Michaela realised that Land Registry documents were not required to perpetrate her frauds, this source of information dried up, so the police had to pursue other lines of enquiry.

Although Michaela’s fraudulent activities centred on mortgage fraud, between 2010 and 2011 the counter-fraud processes in place in Land Registry enabled us to refuse registration of five applications where fraud was suspected. The recorded value of these transactions was over £2 million. The owners of the properties were also protected from loss by Land Registry’s actions.

See our advice on protecting yourself from property fraud: http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/public/property-fraud

Further information on the fraud case – http://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/CityPolice/Media/News/uksmostprolificfemalefraudsterjailed.htm

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