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Former HBOS staff found guilty in £245m scam

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Two former Halifax Bank of Scotland employees were part of a group of financiers yesterday found guilty of bribery and corruption in a £245m scam.

After a five-month trial at Southwark Crown Court, former banker David Mills, HBOS employee Mark Dobson and three other finance professionals Michael Bancroft, Alison Mills, and Tony Cartwright were convicted yesterday of various corruption offences.

Another former HBOS employee Lynden Scourfield pleaded guilty in August 2016.

Jonathan Cohen was acquitted of fraudulent trading and conspiracy to conceal criminal property.

The scam, led by Scourfield and David Mills, saw HBOS incur losses of approximately £250m.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, Scourfield led a department at HBOS that dealt with businesses in financial difficulty.

Having been bribed by David Mills, he required selected customers of the bank to engage the services of Mills and his company Quayside Corporate Services to get further lending from HBOS.

Scourfield then advanced large sums of money to the businesses.

This enabled Mills and his associates – his wife Alison, as well as Bancroft, and Cartwright – to demand high fees for their consultancy services.

The CPS says many of the businesses affected by the group’s actions went into liquidation resulting in job losses, financial hardship, marital breakdowns, the loss of their homes and serious ill-health.

A police investigation uncovered evidence of huge incentives paid to Scourfield by Mills to reward his corruption, including cash payments and money transfers amounting to several hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Mills also provided lavish hospitality, expensive foreign holidays and sex workers including prostitutes.

Specialist prosecutor from the CPS specialist fraud division Stephen Rowland says: “Many people have had their lives ruined by the corrupt behaviour of Lynden Scourfield, David Mills and their associates. Scourfield worked in a section of his bank which was supposed to help struggling businesses but instead, motivated by greed, he went about stripping them of their assets.”

Those convicted are due to be sentenced on 2 February.

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Comments

There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Riddle me this…….. where is the head of KPMG (HBOS auditors at the time all this and more was going on)

    Oh I know…. he is chairman of the FCA yes you know them, the ones who promote high morals, integrity and high protector of the consumer !

  2. Alison Wunderland 31st January 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Same lousy practice practiced by all major banks to balance their books. Now suing NatWest, Denton Wilde Sapte, and PWC for fraud, perjury, perverting the course of justice, failing to account, lost business, holding a bogus charge on our property for 30 years threatening to dispossess us etc. Caught them with fingers in the till which I slammed shut thus preventing NatWest getting hold of our home.

  3. The sad thing is that it took two determined individuals to pursue their claims and then the police investigation, whilst the bank and the regulators turned their backs. Surely Lloyds must now acknowledge what went on and compensate the many victims of this cruel and egregious scam.

  4. I don’t believe the stupidity in the FCA, instead of bleeding about charges and pushing everyone in a race to the bottom. Why are they not looking st the banks process, Nat West have been the worst, the global restructuring department has been stealing people’s business’s for years. They faced a huge bill from SWOP loans, but were helped by the FCA’s review board decisions, mostly exonerating the bank, even though they broke all the COB rules. The whole thing smells so bad yet the FCA is sitting on it. Finger out time, you’ve had your Knighthoods for nothing now do some real work.

  5. I remember in my early years in the business persuading my father to remortgage through a BS and take it away from his bank.
    He was reluctant but as a favour to me and against the banks wishes it was done.
    Then things went sour in the early nineties and oh boy the bank nearly sank him. Fortunately loans were paid and the house was kept out of arrangements but my father never had a good word to say about the bank again.
    Left to the bank and without some capital set aside they would have bankrupted us – fortunately we escaped.

  6. What is especially ugly about this is how HBOS apparently responded to the plight and complaints of the victims. But then we are talking Lloyds Banking Group so no surprises there.

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