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Fresh probe launched into HBOS Reading fraud

HBOS plc 480The National Crime Agency has started fresh investigations into allegations of fraud at the former Halifax Bank of Scotland impaired assets division.

The NCA will conduct a pre-investigative evidential review of allegations that fell outside a Thames Valley Police investigation into allegations of fraud by former employees of this division of HBOS.

The NCA says a number of companies have reported allegations of significant fraud involving a former employee of HBOS and their associates.

The agency says: “These include allegations of asset-stripping, through the use of corrupt consultants, as well as allegations of fraud and money laundering. The sums of money involved could be significant, running to many millions.”

Last February, six individuals, including two former HBOS employers, were jailed for almost 50 years after being convicted of corruption, fraudulent trading and money laundering.

The scam also involved a former HBOS employee, Lynden Scourfield, who was in charge of looking after troubled businesses.

The group orchestrated a scam that saw HBOS lose approximately £250m.

The NCA says the new review is set to take six months.

The FCA, together with the Thames Valley Police, City of London Police, and the Serious Fraud Office have all agreed with the NCA to conduct the new probe.

In April last year, the FCA restarted a review into HBOS impaired assets team after putting it on hold in 2013 as Thames Valley Police pursued the case.

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