Jail for former Agora owners

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THREE former owners of the Agora in Wolverton have been jailed for a total of 17 and a half years for commercial mortgage fraud totalling £20 million.

A City of London Police investigation found that Amarjit Singh-Mann and his two associates Jagjeet Chahal and Kamlesh Panchel had defrauded a number of financial institutions to help grow their property portfolio.

Singh-Mann and Panchel were sentenced to seven years in prison each with Chahal jailed for three and a half years.

All three will be disqualified from directorship for eight years.

The trio attempted to fund the purchases by refinancing some of the properties they already owned and then falsely telling lenders they had long term leases on them with several different companies.

Three different lenders then granted huge loans on the grounds the men had the leases secured and could guarantee a steady income.

One lender reported the fraud in September 2009 which led to the arrest of Singh-Mann and Panchel.

Chahal was then arrested in June of the following year and all three were then charged with conspiracy to defraud.

They appeared before Harrow Crown Court on October 10 this year where they were found guilty of the offence before they were eventually sentenced on October 29.

Former ward councillor for Wolverton, Councillor Mike Galloway, was representing the area at the time the fraud was taking place.

He claims that his pleas for answers on the situation were repeatedly ignored.

He said: “The question that comes back to me is why, oh why, did the various regulatory authorities not catch up with these crooks much earlier?

“I can recall raising concerns at least five years ago to various bodies and know others did to.”

DC Claire Bailey said: “Singh-Mann, Chahal and Panchel thought their mortgage fraud was so complex they could beat the lenders and the police but our investigation, along with the cooperation of the lenders, has proven their arrogance was their downfall.”