Serial fraudster who set up fake real estate company jailed for six years

Ignas Valatka

Ignas Valatka was jailed for six years - Credit: Metropolitan Police

A fraudster was jailed for six years after police discovered several fake passports and driving licences at his Newham flat.

Ignas Valatka, 35, of Western Gateway in Royal Docks, was handed down the sentence at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday (January 7).

He was found in possession of numerous numerous false passports and documents, which he used to fraudulently apply for several large loans totalling almost £200,000, the court heard.

In December, Valatka pleaded guilty to six counts of possession of an identity document with improper intention, one count of possession of articles for use in frauds, and four counts of fraud.

It transpired he had set up a company called Leo Foxtons, one of the false names used on the various identity cards, in February 2018 using a false address.

The fake company dealt in real estate, according to a business database, but Valatka had only established it for the sole purpose of committing fraud.

The Met's economic crime team found he had used false documents to apply for several loans – with £194,000 applied for in total.

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Detective Scott Pounder, the investigating officer from the Met's economic crime team, said: “Valatka fed officers a string of lies from the moment he was stopped, clearly in a bid to try and avoid the true level of his deceit being exposed.

"However, his fraudulent world crumbled thanks to the Project Servator officers’ instincts to stop and speak with him.

"Our subsequent financial investigation, led by Detective Sergeant Kelly Morrison, then uncovered the scale of Valatka’s fraudulent offending.

"We created a photo album showing the various ID documents showing his photo but with different names, leaving him with no option but to plead guilty.

“This investigation highlights that fraud does not pay and we will robustly crack down on those who think it does.”

The serial fraudster was caught out when officers spotted him rummaging in the centre console area of a parked brown van in Royal Docks on July 24, last year.

When approached by police, Valatka was unable to provide details of the van's owner and lied about why he was inside it. Officers arrested him on suspicion of stealing it.

When searched, he was found with a house key and fob marked 'Poplar', which he told police was for an apartment he was renting nearby on a short-term let.

But when it was established he had actually lived in Western Gateway for several years, he lied about the flat number.

However, officers were able to work out his flat and conducted a search, where they discovered £12,770 in cash, various passports, identity cards and driving licences.

They featured Valatka’s photo but with different names and dates of birth.

There were also numerous bankcards registered to different names, as well as heaps of correspondence with different names and addresses, mobile phones, laptops, hard drives, iPads and SIM cards.

Valatka, who answered "no comment" to all questions during his police interview, was further arrested on suspicion of money laundering and fraud by false representation.

During their search of his flat, officers also discovered an email from a bank dated July 23, which said they were reviewing a business loan application for £50,000.

The £50,000 application had been granted but was subsequently frozen by the bank that approved it.

During the property search, officers also found a driving test report, which was obtained using false details.

A further charge of fraud by false representation was left to lie on file.