THE matriarch of one of Scotland's most notorious crime families lost more than £50,000 last year after the Crown Office's Civil Recovery Unit (CRU) proved she lied on her mortgage application form to buy her council house.

Yvonne Kelbie, mother of convicted gangland figures Robert and Mark, told her lender that she had income from a job when, officially, she relied on state benefits.

"Yvonne Kelbie then used the fraudulently obtained mortgage funds to purchase a house under right to buy legislation," the CRU said in its annual report.

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"She later sold the house for considerable profit."

The CRU initially got an order freezing the proceeds of that sale and then, in July last year, proved in the Court of Session that the money was dirty.

That victory came months before shots were fired at Robert Kelbie's home in Ratho Station, causing flights to be delayed at nearby Edinburgh Airport, in November last year.

The unit in January secured another success in the court, a rare full proof, against Brian Ellis, who they described as a "prolific offender" in their annual report.

"He has been involved in numerous crimes of acquisitive dishonesty over a 30-year period, including fraud, credit card fraud, theft from shoplifting, theft from cars and theft from housebreaking," they said. "An investigation carried out by the CRU revealed that in 2001 Ellis purchased a house with the proceeds of a mortgage fraud and other dirty funds acquired throughout his life of crime." Ellis sold that home in 2007 and the CRU froze the resulting profit. In January the Court of Session ruled Ellis "lied in his mortgage application when he claimed to receive income from employment when in truth he predominantly relied on income from fraud and theft". The Ellis case raised £105,000.

Most cases pursued by the CRU settle out of court, often after those targeted simply give up.

Last December it sought a petition to recover the proceeds of the sale of a property in Glasgow by one Alistair McComb, who had raised a mortgage of £157,000 using a false identity of Alfred Gillies. Mr McComb did not defend the action, which netted £30,000 in February.