A hospital consultant accused of a £180,000 insurance scam by claiming there had been a burglary at his rented cottage denied he had a “massive financial crisis” in his household.
Anthony McGrath agreed that he and his GP wife Anne-Louise, whose £1.1million home in St Albans was being renovated, had been earning a “nice wage” when they were both working.
The 45-year-old consultant and his 44-year-old wife, plead not guilty to a series of mortgage frauds.
He also denied making a fraudulent £180,000 insurance claim for expensive antiques, furniture, rugs, paintings and silverware that he claimed had been taken in the burglary in April 2015
The couple were accused of being behind a series of fraudulent mortgage applications between 2012 and 2015 that were supported by lies and forged documentation about their employment and earning potential.
By early 2015, it’s claimed the McGraths were massively in debt, having purchased a large detached house in Clarence Road, St Albans worth £1.1million.
Appearing at Luton crown court on Wednesday, November 14, the Irish doctor said he was working twice as hard when she stopped working to look after their four children.
Prosecutor Charlene Sumnall said: “That would be fine if your outgoings weren’t increasing. There came a point when your family starts to get into debt. Once you start going down a rabbit hole it is a hole you don’t get out of.”
McGrath said: “I turned up at a job I love and I got well paid. I never thought there was a massive financial crisis in our household.”
It’s alleged Mr McGrath then came up with the idea of telling the police the cottage he and his family were renting on the Luton Hoo estate in Bedfordshire, while they waited to move to St Albans, had been burgled and thousands of pounds worth of antiques that he had in storage in the cellar of the property had been taken.
As a result, he submitted a claim to his insurers for £180,000, before he was eventually arrested months later on suspicion of fraud by false representation.
The jury has been told that one item he reported stolen, a 19th century antique marble fireplace, was later discovered at his family’s 200-year-old large house in Co Meath, Ireland.
Anthony McGrath denies four charges of fraud and one of perverting the course of public justice.
Anne-Louise denies five charges of fraud and one of perverting the course of public justice.