New jail term for disgraced solicitor

A DISGRACED solicitor, who conspired to arrange 360 bogus marriages in a notorious immigration scam, has been jailed for three and a half years after falsely inflating his salary threefold and forging two mortgage application forms in a bid to borrow £323,000.

Nigerian-born Michael Adelasoye, 51, who worked in Hailsham but lived in Old London Road, Hastings, will now serve additional time behind bars for lying to two different building societies and forging his manager’s signature.

He was convicted at Croydon Crown Court on charges that in 2007 he dishonestly falsely represented to the Principality Building Society an exaggerated salary of £78,000 and wrote his own reference from his line manager.

He was also convicted of a similar offence at the Cheltenham and Gloucester Building Society of exaggerating his salary and writing his own reference.

The church pastor was employed at Cooper Carter Claremont in Hailsham.

“This was an incident that was fraudulent from the outset and involved multiple frauds,” Recorder Neil Saunders told Adelasoye.

“You are not a person of good character and were sentenced for fraud last year at Lewes Crown Court to four years.

“What I do find aggravating is this was a planned event and you were in a position of trust as a solicitor,” added the Recorder, sentencing Adelasoye to three-and-a-half years imprisonment.

“In the course of your evidence I find aggravating the fact you sought to blame others, not only your wife with whom there is animosity, but Home and Search brokers.”

Prosecutor Stephen Requena told the court Adelasoye – who was earning £25,000 a year – forged the signature of the firm’s practice manager, Karen Goldsmith, to confirm he was earning a £78,000 salary in his Principality application.

“The Crown says that was clearly dishonest and was something done to gain a mortgage for himself or cause loss to the building society, said Mr Requena.

“Those events did not bear fruit and less than a month later Mr Adelasoye was at it again, making false representations that his salary was £78,000 to Cheltenham and Gloucester.

“This time it worked and was approved on the basis of that salary figure he gave that had been certified by his manager.”

The fraud was uncovered, the court heard, when Principality contacted Mrs Goldsmith for verbal confirmation and she revealed she had never completed a reference.

Significantly, Adelasoye had earlier tried to persuade his boss to complete a mortgage reference and include bonuses yet to be earned in a bid to inflate his salary, but this was refused.

Mr Requena told the jury the defendant’s marriage to wife Stella was breaking down and he needed to re-mortgage the matrimonial home to pay her off and allow him to remain.

He said, “His £25,000 a year salary was never going to give him a big enough mortgage to stay there. That is why he inflated his salary figure so he could pay-off his wife and continue living there.”

The mortgage’s monthly £1,900 payments were funded by Adelasoye’s lucrative immigration scam until that was uncovered.

The sentence will start from today, pushing back Adelasoye’s release date from April, next year until May 2013.

He was sentenced to four years imprisonment on September 6 last year at Lewes Crown Court for conspiring to facilitate the commission of breaches of immigration law in relation to 360 sham marriages between July 1 2005 and September 1 2009.

He introduced mainly African immigrants to Eastern European EU citizens and marriages took place at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in St Leonards.