Four men have been found guilty of conspiring to commit fraud and make corrupt payments against lenders Barclays and the UK arm of Belgian bank KBC.
At Southwark Crown Court on 7 February Stephen Dartnell and George Alexander of Total Asset Finance, Carl Cumisky of H2O Networks and Simon Mundy of KBC Lease were found guilty.
Kerry Lloyd of Total Asset Finance and Elfed Thomas of H2O were both acquitted.
The jury heard from Serious Fraud Office lawyers that there was no dispute that large-scale fraud had occurred but the defendants denied involvement and, in the main, blamed each other.
Dartnell, Alexander and Cumiskey had conspired to create, sign and sell falsely inflated or entirely false contracts from H2O to business lenders, Barclays Bank and KBC.
H2O supplied fibre-optic internet cable connections and would use sewers as channels for these internet cables. H2O targeted public institutions such as local authorities, universities, colleges and the NHS with long-term payment contracts.
Mundy was paid nearly £900,000 as an “inside man” at KBC by Dartnell to approve the funding provided by KBC to Total Asset Finance.
Between 2007 and 2010 this fraud amounted to almost £160m.
SFO director David Green says: “This was a carefully planned, complex and lucrative fraud which ran over three years. It took a determined investigation to ensure that those responsible for it were brought to justice. We will now turn our attention to securing confiscation of criminal assets from those convicted”.