Mother and daughter who fooled estate agent in £1m scam have almost no money, court told

A mother and daughter who pulled off a £1.2m property scam by hoaxing estate agents and solicitors have almost no money, a confiscation hearing has been told.

Laylah De Cruz and her mother Dianne Moorcroft were jailed for the scam which involved a £3m house in Kensington, which a member of their gang was renting from the real owner.

Moorcroft changed her name by deed poll to convince agents and solicitors she was the owner, and also obtained a passport in the name of the true owner, Margaret Gwenllian Richards, a 91-year-old who has since died.

A £1.2m bridging loan was obtained on the house, with the money transferred to Dubai where it was withdrawn in cash.

De Cruz was jailed for five years and Moorcroft for three.

A confiscation hearing at Southwark Crown Court has now been told that Moorcroft has just under £2,000 in a building society account, and that De Cruz “blew a fortune on her luxury lifestyle” and has £375 to her name.

Judge Michael Grieve QC made a confiscation order of £2,000 against Moorcroft, giving her 28 days to pay with a one-month default prison term if she fails.

Confiscation proceedings in De Cruz’s case have been adjourned until December 7.

The man said to have masterminded the plot, Karl Cronin, is still on the run.

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