Insurance scammer and mortgage fraudster must pay back £560,000

Debt-ridden surgeon who was jailed over huge insurance scam and million-pound mortgage fraud which featured on 24 Hours in Police Custody must pay back £560,000 in three months or face five more years behind bars

  • Anthony McGrath masterminded a massive insurance scam and mortgage fraud
  • The orthopaedic surgeon is currently serving eight year sentence for the crimes
  • Judge has ordered him to pay back £564,518 within a three month deadline
  • McGrath faces another five years being added to his sentence if he does not pay

Dr Anthony McGrath, 48, (pictured in an undated photo) has been ordered to pay back £564,518 by a judge or face another five years being added to his sentence

A debt-ridden orthopaedic surgeon who masterminded a massive insurance scam and mortgage fraud has been given a three month deadline to pay back over half a million pounds.

Anthony McGrath is serving an eight year sentence for his crimes and faces an additional five years being added to his jail time if he is unable to produce the cash.  

‘Greedy and arrogant’ McGrath was jailed in 2019 for the scam which involved faking a burglary at his home and claiming £180,000 worth of antiques had been stolen in his police report.

Faced with thousands of pounds of debt, he also committed a series of ‘well planned and sophistocated’ fraudulent mortgage applications which netted him £974,144 in Lloyds Bank loans between 2012 and 2015.

The Maserati-driving Irish doctor, who styled himself as a 007 fanatic and called himself ‘Paddy Bond’, has now been ordered to pay back £564,518 by a judge after a three day Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation hearing.

Judge Steven Evans made the order on Friday at Luton crown court two years into McGrath’s sentence. 

McGrath, 48, whose crimes were featured in the Channel 4 series ‘Twenty Four Hours in Police Custody’, will have to pay the money to the HMCTS South East Regional Confiscation Unit by June 26.

If he defaults, he will receive a further five years on top of the sentence he is currently serving.

McGrath and his GP wife Anne-Louise McGrath were in thousands of pounds worth of debt when he decided to make a fake burglary report to police. They are both seen in undated photos outside Luton Crown Court 

Following his jailing in January 2019, prosecutors said they would be seeking confiscation of any recoverable assets held by McGrath.

His wife Anne-Louise McGrath, 46, who had been on trial with her husband, was acquitted of the mortgage frauds after telling jury that as a busy mother raising their young children, she left family financial matters to him.

She said she hadn’t been aware of what he was up to when he submitted the applications, which were backed by forged documents lying about salaries.

The confiscation hearing this month was told she had launched divorce proceedings after the surgeon admitted at his trial that he had cheated on the GP during their marriage.

Giving his ruling on Friday the Judge Evans ruled that the jailed surgeon should pay back over half a million pounds of his illgotten gains.  

He examined McGrath’s assets, which included his benefits from the estate of his dead parents as well as the family home and grounds at Somerville House, a large Georgian built country property in County Meath, Ireland.

McGrath submitted fake photos of items he claimed to have owned as part of his insurance scam, including a 19th century Rococo red marble fireplace worth £30,000 (left), and a clock he had never owned (right)

An old  £1445 Fiat car was also an asset, said the judge, along with ‘antiquities, art and valuables’ worth around £139,000 as well as McGrath’s £37,000 inheritance from his parents’ estate.

There was also the matrimonial home in St Albans, Herts, where McGrath had lived with his wife – the large £1.1million detached seven bedroomed property in Clarence Road, that he had purchased with his fraudulent mortgage applications. 

His wife, who was unaware of his fraudulent mortgage applications, provided half the deposit for the house, which the judge took into account in his conviscation order.   

The judge calculated McGrath’s criminal benefit as £974,114 and ordered him to pay £564,518.97 by June 26 2021 – or face a further five years in prison. 

Confiscation hearing are to deprive convicted people of their ill gotten gains and any assets deemed as recoverable. 

The money is usually split between the relevant police forces and aid future crime prevention, the crown prosecution service and the Home Office.

The judge said when McGranth had given evidence at the confiscation hearing he had been ‘uncooperative and unforthcoming with information.’

This is the £1.1 million home in St Albans the couple had bought and were trying to raise money to renovate as their debts spiralled 

McGrath grew up in a 200-year-old Georgian stately home called Somerville House in Co Meath, Ireland. A judge considered McGrath’s inheritance from his parents’ estate in the confiscation hearing

This was the cottage, called The Garden Bothy, where McGrath staged a break in

He went on: ‘In short I found him to be a thoroughly dishonest witness, quite prepared to manipulate and forge evidence and tell lies in court.’

McGrath, said the judge, had not been prepared to help the court with regard to the value of antiques and artwork during his evidence.

After the judge made his ruling on Friday Mrs McGrath refused to make any comment about the case, except to say: ‘It’s not my issue and it’s nothing to do with me. I’m not involved in this and have no interest in it.’ 

Mrs McGrath wouldn’t say if she intends to sell the property.

At his trial, which lasted four months, the court was told that by the spring of 2015 McGrath and his wife Anne-Louise were struggling to stay financially afloat and in debt to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds.

The purchase of £1.1 million pound detached home in St Albans meant the mortgage payments on it were £2,400 month.

However, because of a costly refurb that was being undertaken there, the family were living in a £2,400-per-month rented house known as The Garden Bothy, in the grounds of Luton Hoo, the former stately home home where the Queen stayed for part of her honeymoon. 

There were school fees to fund and bank cards were being declined at supermarket tills as McGrath’s debts spiralled out of control.

In the spring of 2015 Mr McGrath put together a plan he thought would end his financial difficulties.

McGrath, who had inherited his father’s passion for antiques and art work, had a large collection of antiques, silverware, oriental rugs, paintings, clocks and Ming vases which were being stored in the cellar of The Garden Bothy.

Two earrings (left) and a ring (right) that McGrath claimed to have owned when he submitted the fake insurance claim 

A photo of silver teapots  that McGrath falsely claimed had been stolen from his cottage

On the evening of April 15 he rang Bedfordshire Police to say there had been a burglary and much of his cherished collection, including a 19th century Rococo fire place worth £30,000, had been taken.

McGrath’s plan was to submit a bogus insurance claim and making out the burglars had got away with 95 items worth £182,612.

But police investigating the break in soon began to notice discrepancies. 

An old sash window had been smashed which appeared to be where the burglars had got in, but there were no other forensic clues.

Detectives discovered McGrath was in debt, and as they investigated they realised he had made a series of fraudulent applications in respect if three mortgage loans between 2012 and 2015.

His lies about his and his wife’s incomes had meant around £1 million had been advanced to him in loans. 

McGrath made a massive blunder when he responded to a police request for any photos he might have of the property that had been stolen.

A three day Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation hearing was held at Luton Crown Court (pictured, stock image) where McGrath was originally sentenced to eight years in prison for four counts of insurance fraud, perverting the course of public justice, and three charges of mortgage fraud

Three of the photos he sent were of the Rococa fireplace, but unlike others they were not images that had been copied from previously taken photos.

The digital data that accompaniecd each of the three photos showed the date they had been taken in July 2015, and the latitude and longitude information pinpoted the location as being the McGrath family home in County Meath, Ireland. 

In November of that year officers from The Garda accompanied by Bedfordshire police went to McGrath’s family home, an 18th century country manor house where they they found the fireplace in the drawing room, leading to McGrath’s arrest. 

At the end of a four month trial at Luton crown court, which is reckoned to have cost the taxpayer more than half a million pounds, McGrath was found guilty of four counts of an insurance scam fraud, perverting the course of public justice, and three charges of mortgage fraud. 

He was branded ‘arrogant and greedy by a judge’ who called it a ‘very sorry tale’

Addressing ‘very talented’McGrath, judge Judge Barbara Mensah said: ‘Through your talents, you rose to be a successful orthopaedic surgeon and fell, through greed and arrogance, to where you sit [in the dock].’

Mrs McGrath was cleared by the jury of being involved in the three mortgage frauds with her husband and also of retaining items of jewellery her husband was claiming for and selling at auctioneers Bonhams a pair of earrings. 

After his conviction in 2019 prosecutors announced they would be seeking confiscation of McGrath’s assets. 

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