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Two greedy RBS bankers who used their jobs to run £3million property fraud escape jail because judge says THEY 'have suffered'

  

dailymail.co.uk | November 28, 2014 

By Martin Robinson

Two 'greedy' Royal Bank of Scotland bankers who masterminded a £3million property fraud were spared jail after a judge decided they had already 'suffered' enough.

Andrew Ratnage, 50, and his boss Raymond Pask, 54, were both earning more than £100,000-a- year but wanted to make more money using a mortgage scam.

Together they set up a series of fake companies in the name of Pask's family and then made applications for loans to 'tart' up homes and sell them at a profit.

The bankers, who were based at NatWest's office in Romford, Essex, a bank owned by RBS, then fraudulently borrowed just under £3million over five years.

The scam also boosted their bonuses to more than £50,000-a-year - on one occasion taking it to £78,000 for Ratnage.

The mortgage applications were submitted to their own bank without the pair ever revealing who was behind them and they also decided to forge documents to inflate the value of homes.

Once their own bank, which is majority-owned by the taxpayer, lent them the cash they were able to buy two properties in fashionable Stoke Newington in north-east London and another yards from the sea in Whitstable, Kent.

Two more were also bought in east London and Essex.

At one stage Pask was living in a house worth more than £1million and sitting on a £1.2million pension pot.

He took £136,000 from one of the development companies alone and drove a top of the range BMW, the Old Bailey heard.

But because all the loans have been repaid Judge Rebecca Poulet QC gave them suspended prison sentences not time in jail, saying they had already 'suffered' and were 'embarrassed'.

She said: 'I accept that it was not your intention to case loss to the bank. I accept you intended at all times for the money to be repaid and it has been fortunate the bank has not suffered.

'I have no doubt that both of you have suffered in the time it has taken this case to come to court

Pask's marriage has collapsed, he has lost his home and his pension pot has been reduced to £120,000, the court heard. He claims he is 'financially ruined.'

Ratnage suffers from heart problems, high blood pressure and such severe diabetes that it was thought his foot might have to be amputated.

The pair were working at the NatWest office in Romford, which at that time owned RBS

They planned to take advantage of the booming property market to pay back the loans and cash on the profits.

Bosses at RBS discovered the fraud in October 2010 after Ratnage, then a relationship manager, took long-term sick leave and other people took over his work portfolio.

The investigation then discovered that the companies used to make the loan applications were linked to Pask, the 'regional director for relationship management.'

Pask resigned from RBS after 33 years service in December 2010 but it was not until last year that the two men were charged by City of London Police.

In interview Ratnage complained to officers that he was poorly trained and 'under a huge amount of pressure at work'.

The scam involved sending through loan applications to the RBS credit department without disclosing that they were the beneficiaries.

Pask and Ratnage concealed their identities using companies registered in the names of relatives of Pask. Ratnage also used forged documents to inflate valuations for homes.

During this time Ratnage received bonuses ranging from £48,000 in 2006 to £78,000 in 2008. Pask also received annual bonuses of around £50,000 between 2006 and 2008.

'You were in effect greedy,' said Judge Poulet, adding: 'You were acting in a breach of trust. It was sophisticated and sustained and to an extent involved others - the nominees of the companies.

'The public must be discomforted by hearing the details of your criminal conduct. But it did not involve loss to your employers and the actual risk was at least limited.

'You have expressed shame and embarrassment at what you have done - as well you might.'

The judge gave Ratnage a 20 month sentence suspended for two years and ordered him to do 300 hours of work in the community.

Pask was given an 18 month sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 250 hours.

Ratnage is unemployed but Pask has a job advising a company on personnel and was ordered to pay £2,500 of prosecution costs.

Pask, of Loughton, Essex, admitted three counts of obtaining a service by deception and one count of false accounting.

Ratnage, of Brentwood, Essex, admitted three counts of obtaining a service by deception, one count of fraud and seven counts of false accounting.

 

Back to November 2014 Archive

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