Swindler is ordered to pay back £1.5million

A CROOKED St John's Wood businessman has been ordered to pay more than £1.5million after lying to get a mortgage on his luxury home

Susanna Wilkey

A CROOKED St John's Wood businessman has been ordered to pay more than £1.5million after lying to get a mortgage on his luxury home.

Terry Waya, described as the "the black Richard Branson" by former England footballer John Fashanu, was convicted of dishonesty in August.

But he escaped jail because of the glowing testimonial that the ex-Gladiators presenter Fashanu gave him in court.

Waya, 43, was found guilty of lying about his income on a mortgage application to get a loan for a St John's Wood flat on Prince Albert Road, which he bought for £775,000 in November 2003.

But he has now been forced to pay back almost double the figure because of rising property prices.

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The judge at Southwark Crown Court ordered Waya to pay £1,540,000 - judged to be the benefit of his criminal activities and the value of the property now.

He has to pay the full amount within six months or face two and a half years in jail. He also has to pay £5,000 prosecution fees within three months.

Detective chief inspector Sean Wanless, from the economic and specialist crime command, said: "This was a complex investigation, which led to a professional criminal being deprived of the profits of his crime - once again sending a strong message to those involved in criminal activity that crime does not pay."

Waya was arrested in November 2005 on suspicion of money laundering. Police had investigated his finances after he agreed to pay £500,000 in bail for Nigerian politician Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

Enquiries by his bank and the police raised concerns about his finances and the bank decided to close his account.

He was found guilty of obtaining money transfers by deception - a £465,000 loan from GE Money, used to buy the St John's Wood house.

He gave false information in his application about his status, his current employment, date of birth and other details. He was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to 80 hours of community service.

Wimbledon FC star Fashanu told the sentencing hearing: "To be fair, I don't know his business side, I only know the charitable side of it.

"Terry has travelled with me to two different African countries, Ghana and South Africa in relation to HIV and Aids, particularly Soweto, where there were outbreaks of Aids.

"I certainly wouldn't say he was there for the ride. If it was a ride, it was a very rough ride.

"Terry Waya didn't have to come. He paid his own ticket and, to be truthful, paid a few other people's as well.

"His support wasn't financial, it was physical. Lifting up the children and showing that people cared about the children with Aids in African countries."