Virgin pilot jailed for £30m mortgage fraud

Mark Entwistle, 47, who masqueraded as a property developer, used corrupt solicitors and accountants to approve his applications, as in one case he took out five mortgages on one home, The Daily Telegraph reported this morning.

Although he initially used the money to redevelop properties and sell them on, he started using it to fund a luxury lifestyle. He jetted off to Las Vegas casinos and also invested in a luxury boat, which he used to cruise around the River Thames.

Judge Martin Beddoe jailed Entwistle for 14 years in July but the sentence can only now be reported now after a court order was amended.

Michael Shorrock QC, prosecuting, said: “Mark Entwistle's ambition was a simple one – his ambition was to buy and develop and sell on property for a profit.

“He appeared to achieve some success at first. As time went by, however, he began to raise finance by fraud.

“The loan applications would state that loan funds were to be used to refinance or purchase or develop a particular property. But his affluence was funded not by success, but by fraud.

“This trial has been nothing but another gamble for you but the odds have proved to be too long this time.”

Also in on the scam was solicitor Jonathan Gilbert, whose firm has now been wound up, solicitor Matthew Robinson and accountant Nicholas Pomroy.

The crimes occurred between 2005 and 2009.

Entwistle was found guilty of 22 counts of conspiracy to defraud and one count of conspiracy to conceal criminal property, while Gilbert, Robinson and Pomroy also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud.

Judge Martin Beddoe said: “'This is a story of arrogance and greed. You may be a good pilot and had a great vision for the development of properties in and around Windsor but none of that exceeds your arrogance or greed.

“You thought you were better than anyone else and you were unable to get over the need to show off your entrapments of wealth.

“Only a small amount was ever used for the purposes of the loan, and it was often a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“A great deal of money was blown on your excesses Mr Entwistle, to keep up the vague pretence to your friends and others of what a rich and successful man you were.”

He added: “Throughout you had the belief that it would all come right, that your properties would come right and all the loans would be repaid and no one would be the wiser.

“But there came a time, well before the end, and after the slump in the property market had begun, that you spent vast sums of money on Betfair and the gaming tables of Las Vegas.”