New jail term for sham marriages solicitor

Michael Adelasoye
Michael Adelasoye

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

Michael Adelasoye, 51, of Old London Road, will now serve additional time behind bars - pushing back his release date to May 2013 - for lying to two different building societies and forging his manager’s signature.

He was convicted at Croydon Crown Court 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 dishonestly falsely represented to the Cheltenham and Gloucester Building Society an exaggerated salary in the same figure and wrote his own reference from his line manager.

The church pastor, who also preached at the Ark of Hope Christian Centre, Marine Court, was employed by a Cooper, Carter, Claremont of Hailsham.

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

He added: “What I do find aggravating is this was a planned event and you were in a position of trust as a solicitor. 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 Mr 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 say that was clearly dishonest and was something done to gain a mortgage for himself or cause loss to the building society.

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