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Guilty Verdicts In SFO's $8.7 Million Mortgage Fraud Case

Two couples looking to get into property investing in Auckland used fake employment agreements to defraud banks out of $8.7 million.

Bryan Martin and Joshua Grant were found guilty Wednesday on charges of obtaining by deception following a six-week Auckland District Court trial in August and September of this year.

Mr Grant’s wife, Sian Grant, and Mr Martin’s former partner, Viki Cotter, have both previously pleaded guilty to their part in the scheme.

Both couples sought to invest in the Auckland property market, however did not have the income needed to secure loans.

Mr Martin used a non-trading entity, Momentum Transition Developments, and created fake employment agreements for Ms Cotter and Mrs Grant.

By moving money between his own private bank account, Ms Cotter’s and the Grants’, the group were able to give the impression that they received regular salaries.

Mortgage applications were initially submitted through a brokerage where Ms Cotter was a licensed broker, and later in person.

Fourteen loan applications were made between August 2015 and October 2016 which falsely stated the applicant was employed by Momentum. In total, the four fraudulently obtained $8.7 million in loans.

“The defendants’ desire to enter the then-growing property market led them to create an elaborate scheme intended to deceive the banks into lending them millions of dollars,” says SFO Director Karen Chang.

“This type of criminal offending is ultimately harmful to New Zealanders who seek mortgage finance in good faith but miss out because lending was taken up by others through fraud. It impacts on banks and damages the trust between banks, mortgage brokers and consumers.”

Mr Martin, Mr Grant and Ms Grant’s sentencing has been scheduled for 15 March 2023 at Waitākere District Court. Ms Cotter will be sentenced on 12 January 2023.

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