TV ‘Apprentice’ fraudster escapes prison
A former Royal marine, who appeared as a contestant on the BBC TV business series ‘The Apprentice’, has escaped jail with a suspended sentence after admitting four counts of fraud and asking for three further offences to be taken into account.
Former mortgage broker Christopher Farrell attempted to dupe lenders by falsifying customers’ applications to inflate applicant’s salaries so they were more likely to be loaned money. He, in turn, increased his chances of reaching his sales bonus.
Farrell, of Arrowe Park Road, Upton, Wirral, Merseyside, worked as a mortgage and insurance adviser with the company, Mortgages for Plymouth, between November 2007 and August 2009. He then went on to take part in The Apprentice, where he was fired by Lord Sugar in week eight of the show.
The former broker, who earned £1,600 a month, would earn commission of between £300 and £400 if he made sales of more than £5,000 a month. Under pressure to support his wife and young child, he admitted altering P60 forms, payslips and creating fake documents to ensure their mortgage applications were successful, thereby hitting his monthly target.
Judge Francis Gilbert QC imposed a nine-month prison sentence for each of the four charges, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to do 200 hours community service.
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