Fraudster caught in disguise ordered to pay back £172k

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A woman caught in disguise as she attempted to defraud a Harrogate bank has been ordered to pay back £172,000 of her ill-gotten gains.

Feruza Mettrick, 33, defrauded banks and building societies out of more than half a million pounds by applying for loans against houses she pretended to own.

She was arrested wearing a wig and glasses as part of a disguise at the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Harrogate in September 2010.

Mettrick, of Newton Garth, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, was jailed for five years in July last year for conspiracy to defraud, and returned to Leeds Crown Court last week to face a confiscation hearing.

The court had heard that the independent financial advisor, with a knowledge of mortgage applications, had targeted properties through letting agents.

She would rent homes and with the help of two men, would convince the banks to give her loans. In some cases, the court heard, attempts were made to even sell off properties without the real owners being aware.

The court heard that Mettrick illegally made £690,900 from the deception but she had £172,000 of assets which could be seized.

One deception saw her take on the identity of a 67-year-old woman who owned a large detached bungalow on Chelmsford Road, Harrogate, and gain a £120,000 home improvement loan.

Judge James Spencer QC, labelling her a “conman”, ordered Mettrick to pay the sum within six months or face another two-and-a-half-years behind bars.