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Ex-GP Noble trustee’s appeal turned down over £52m fraud conviction

A former GP Noble trustee sentenced to eight years imprisonment for his role in a £52m pension fraud has had his appeal turned down by the Court of Appeal.

Graham Pitcher was convicted in 2011 of conspiracy to defraud for his involvement in the misuse of pension scheme funds managed by GP Noble Trustees.

He appealed the decision in December. In a judgment handed down last week, the appeal was rejected by Lord Justice Treacy.

GP Noble was an independent trustee company based in Nottingham that administered occupational pension schemes.

The firm was a subsidiary of Money Portal, which went into administration in June 2009. Pitcher, who was principal director of GP Noble at the time of the offences, was found to have removed millions of pounds from the schemes’ funds in 2007 and 2008 and reinvested the money in British Virgin Island companies.

The Serious Fraud Office says this was done without consulting the other directors of GP Noble and the funds were used for fraudulent purposes.

But in the appeal court, defence barrister Siobhan Grey argued new material which arose during the trial of former Money Portal director Tony Morris in 2012 gave grounds for appeal.

Morris and an associate, Peter Malstrom, were cleared of fraud charges in July 2012. In the judgment, Lord Justice Treacy says the new material would have had “no impact upon the overall verdict”.

He says: “We are satisfied there is no properly arguable case to be made against conviction.”

Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall says: “I do not believe there has been a miscarriage of justice in this case. Pitcher has had his day in court, twice, and one has to trust that justice has been served.”

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