Lawyer charged with conspiracy to cheat bank of mortgage loans

SINGAPORE - A lawyer was hauled to court on Tuesday for his role in a housing loan scam.

Mohammed Lutfi Hussin, 48, faces nine charges of conspiring with Mohammad Sauki Mawadi, a former real estate agent, to cheat OCBC Bank of delivering a total of $6.2 million as mortgage loans in 2005 and 2006.

Court documents say that Sauki dishonestly submitted documents as part of a mortgage loan application to OCBC for nine properties by inflating their purchase prices and induced the bank to approve and deliver higher mortgage loans.

The loans approved by the bank ranged from $320,000 to $1.4 million for options to buy properties in Woodlands, Sembawang, Pasir Ris and Serangoon Gardens.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled for May 7.

Lutfi, represented by Mr George Pereira, is out on $50,000 bail.

Sauki was sentenced to 32 months after pleading guilty to 13 out of 38 charges in 2013.

If convicted, Lutfi could be jailed for up to seven years and fined on each charge.