Apprentice star Chris Farrell avoids jail

The Apprentice contestant Christopher Farrell has been given a suspended sentence for fraud.

The mortgage broker, who appeared in the most recent series of the BBC1 show, attempted to dupe lenders by falsifying customers’ applications so they were more likely to be loaned money.

The former Royal Marine inflated applicants’ salaries and forged documents to clinch them a mortgage – and in turn increase his chances of reaching his sales bonus.

Christopher, 29, was arrested last August after a bank cottoned on to the fraud, but tried to blame his colleagues for forging the documents.

However, he quickly admitted his guilt and pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud by false representation before magistrates in Plymouth last month. He asked for three further charges to be taken into consideration.

Appearing at Plymouth Crown Court on Friday (today), he was given a nine month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and 200 hours’ community service.

Speaking outside the crown court, Christopher said he “deeply regretted” what he had done.

“I’m really sorry about what’s happened. It shouldn’t have happened and it is something I deeply regret,” he told reporters.

“I am wanting to put it behind me and move on with my life and I would like to thank everyone for their support during a tough time in my life.”

He added: “There has been a lot of stress caused, self-inflicted, but I am glad it’s all over and out of the way and looking forward to the future.”