A GAS engineer has told how a “Walter Mitty” con man who secretly sold his partner’s house while she was still living there cheated him out of £30,000.
Mark Donahue said he was persuaded to re-mortgage his house to invest in a property letting scheme by convicted fraudster Alexander Currie.
He said Currie promised that the investment was protected as he would sell the home he “owned” to pay back any losses.
When the scheme collapsed, Currie, 46, hired a look-a-like to pretend to be his partner, Janette McVicar, and sell her Fernieside Drive home after visiting a firm of Edinburgh solicitors.
But Mr Donahue said he never saw any of his £30,000 again and the stress from his massive loss has since caused a split with his partner.
The Fernieside Drive home was bought by Gareth Davies, who was in a relationship with Mr Donahue’s sister, after he was also tricked by Currie.
Mr Davies is still the legal owner of Mrs McVicar’s house, but Mr Donahue said agreements had been signed to return the house to her.
Currie, of Drumdryan Street, pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Tuesday to forming a fraudulent scheme to obtain money between January and April last year by selling Mrs McVicar’s home. He faces a possible jail sentence.
Mr Donahue, who lives in Edinburgh, said: “Currie was working as a mortgage advisor and he met Gareth in the pub and agreed to arrange a mortgage for him. That’s how I was introduced to him.
“Currie persuaded me to invest £30,000 in a property company. He said if anything happened he could sell his house to pay me back.
“The company collapsed but Currie told me I’d get the money back. Gareth agreed to buy the house and the money from the sale was put through my account as Currie was being chased for other debts.
“I gave him the money back and it disappeared again. I’ve never seen a penny. We had no idea he didn’t own the house.
“Me and Gareth have both signed agreements not to challenge its return to Janette. It’s her house so it’s only fair, even though it means I won’t see the £30,000 again.”
Meanwhile, another alleged victim has come forward to reveal how Currie owes him £10,000 after pulling out of a property deal six years ago.
Currie offered to buy a house being sold by Euan Malcolm. However, after signing the missives he vanished, leaving Mr Malcolm to take out a £10,000 bridging loan until he sold the property.
Mr Malcolm was granted a decree against Currie for the cash but said: “My lawyers were unable to find Currie. He never turned up in court.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw it was the same man who had sold his partner’s house.”