Fraudster surgeon told to pay back €600k or face five more years in jail
30th March 2021
An Irish surgeon, jailed for eight years in the UK for staging a burglary and committing mortgage fraud worth almost £1million, has been ordered to pay back over £500,000 – or face a further five years in prison.© Provided by Extra.ie
Anthony McGrath, 48, originally from Somerville House, Co. Meath, staged a break-in at his home in Luton, southeast England, and was given the eight-year term in 2019.
Under the UK’s Proceeds of Crime Act, he must repay the amount he currently has available, £564,518.97, by June, or face a further five years in jail, the BBC has reported.© Provided by Extra.ie Anthony McGrath, 48, originally from Somerville House, Co. Meath, staged a break-in at his home in Luton, southeast England, and was given the eight-year term in 2019. Pic: Bedfordshire Police
The Maserati-driving surgeon, who was based at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London, claimed 95 items worth over £180,000 had been stolen from the 19th-century cottage he was renting on Luton’s Hoo Estate in 2015.
McGrath provided photographs to police of items he claimed were stolen – including a marble fireplace worth £30,000 – but was caught when latitude and longitude information on the photo files showed some of them were taken at the McGrath family home near Kentstown in Co. Meath.
In addition to his fraudulent insurance claim, he submitted three fraudulent mortgage applications based on false claims of his and his wife’s earnings, to secure more than £1million on two properties. His trial heard he had huge debts but wanted to finish renovating a £1.1million home he and his GP wife, Anne-Louise McGrath, had bought in leafy St Albans in Hertfordshire, southern England. Following a three-day hearing at Luton Crown Court, Judge Steven Evans concluded at the hearing on Friday that McGrath’s total ‘criminal benefit’ from fraudulent mortgage loans had been more than £974,000.© Provided by Extra.ie Luton Crown Court. Pic: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
He said McGrath had been ‘uncooperative and unforthcoming with information’ during the hearing and branded him a ‘thoroughly dishonest witness, quite prepared to manipulate and forge evidence and tell lies in court’.
During the original trial at Luton Crown Court in January 2019, Judge Barbara Mensah branded him ‘arrogant’ and told him: ‘Your lies appear to know no bounds.’
She went on: ‘This is a very sorry tale of a very talented Mr McGrath. Through your talents, you rose to be a successful orthopaedic surgeon, and fell, through greed and arrogance, to where you sit today.’ She added: ‘Because of your arrogance, you didn’t think an insurance company or the police would question a man of your standing.’© Provided by Extra.ie During the original trial at Luton Crown Court in January 2019, Judge Barbara Mensah branded Anthony McGrath ‘arrogant’ and told him: ‘Your lies appear to know no bounds.’ Pic: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Ms 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 insurance money for, while selling at auction. She had told the court that with young children to care for and an ailing mother, she left much of the family’s financial affairs to her husband.
Ms McGrath said she knew nothing about the fraudulent mortgage applications made by her husband. The trial had heard how, in the months leading up to the fictitious burglary in April of 2015, the couple were desperately trying to stay afloat financially. The couple, who had four children then aged between four and 14, earned good salaries, but their outgoings were huge. They were paying £2,400 a month to rent their cottage, and they had mortgage repayments of £2,400 for their seven-bedroom detached home in St Albans, which was being renovated.
The confiscation hearing earlier this month was told divorce proceedings had been instigated by Ms McGrath.© Provided by Extra.ie Under the UK’s Proceeds of Crime Act, Anthony McGrath must repay the amount he currently has available, £564,518.97, by June, or face a further five years in jail, the BBC has reported. Pic: Shutterstock
After the judge made his ruling on Friday, Ms 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.’
Anthony McGrath has three months to come up with the money. Confiscation hearings are held in the UK to deprive convicted people of ill-gotten gains and assets deemed recoverable.