Date Published 08 October 2012
A man has been jailed for three and a half years after selling a house he did not own.
Police said that he had conned solicitors, estate agents and a bank into believing he was the real owner, using forged identity details.
Sean McGowan, 43, from Partridge Green, West Sussex, was sentenced at the Central Criminal Court, London, following an investigation by Thames Valley Police’s economic crime unit. He had earlier admitted the offence.
The case involved a property in upmarket Sunningdale, Berkshire, that McGowan, using the false name Ian Mathewson, purported to be his own.
In May 2011, he sold the property to an unwitting property developer for £750,000. Around a month later the real owner of the house, named Moor End, discovered the fraudulent sale and asked police to investigate.
McGowan was traced by to his home in Sussex where he was arrested in July 2011.
All the money was recovered except £20,000.