Three jailed in £18.5m fraud on Swiss bank

Three conspirators have been jailed for a combined total of over 13 years for their role in defrauding EFG Private Bank of Zurich of £18.5m.

Kevin Steele was a partner at London law firm Mishcon de Reya and Michael Shephard, who claimed to be a wealthy businessman, was one of his clients. Mark Pattinson was an associate of Shephard’s.

Together they conspired to produce letters purporting to be from Bank Julius Baer & Co in Guernsey. The false documents were presented to EFG Private Bank in order to support a loan application on behalf of Shephard.

The documents contained a claim that over £76m was held in two Guernsey accounts and available for use as security on the loan. The claimed purpose of the loan was for property developments in Turkey.

Steele, Shephard and Pattinson were today sentenced to five years and six months, six years and three months and 18 months imprisonment, respectively. Shephard has also been disqualified from acting as a company director for 15 years.

The Serious Fraud Office investigation commenced in November 2008.