Sheffield woman loses court appeal

Helen Victoria Chapman - fraudster involved in mortage scam
Helen Victoria Chapman - fraudster involved in mortage scam
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A Sheffield woman jailed and ordered to pay back £152,000 after admitting her part in a serious mortgage fraud has lost an appeal against the confiscation bill.

Helen Victoria Chapman, aged 51, of Victoria Court, Nether Edge, served a 15-month prison sentence which she received at Southwark Crown Court in March 2010 for conspiracy to obtain a money transfer by deception.

She was handed a £152,109 confiscation order in December 2011 – less than a tenth of her assessed benefit from crime.

Chapman appealed against the order but Lord Justice Moore-Bick refused to cut the confiscation bill although he said the crown court judge had wrongly assessed her benefit from the fraud.

She was involved in the mortgage fraud with two Yorkshire men between 2005 and 2006, falsely claiming to be the £400,000-a-year national sales manager of a firm when she applied for a mortgage.

A bank released a mortgage for 2.6m euros, towards the purchase of a £3.8m property in Spain for Chapman and her partner, Anthony Gould, who was jailed for four years.

Only one repayment was ever made on the mortgage and an investigation launched.

Chapman eventually pleaded guilty after initially claiming to have been duped into taking part.

In March last year, she appealed against her conviction, but lost, before taking her case back to the Court of Appeal challenging the amount she should pay back.

The appeal judge said she had benefited by about £1.5m and not by £2.5m from the fraud but declined to order a cut in her £152,109 bill.

Chapman’s lawyers argued some of the assets taken into account when assessing how much she could pay did not belong to her, including a BMW owned by a friend and gifts and a VW Polo which belonged to her son.

Lord Justice Moore-Bick said the items were in her name and it was down to her to prove they were not hers.

“For these reasons, we do not consider that any of the grounds currently included in the notice of appeal provides an arguable basis for challenging the judge’s findings or varying the order which he made,” he said.