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Judge adjourns plea hearing for ethical investment fraud case

The plea hearing for the former director of ethical investment scheme Global Forestry Investments has been adjourned until October.

Earlier this month the Serious Fraud Office revealed it had charged Andrew Skeene in relation to alleged frauds concerning the company between August 2010 and December 2015.

A scheduled plea hearing was postponed on Monday to allow Skeene’s defence team more time to read documents connected with the case.

Skeene has been charged with three offences of conspiracy to defraud, four counts of forgery and one of misconduct in the course of winding up.

He has also been charged with one offence of making a false statement when not under oath.

Global Forestry Investments had promoted a project to put money into tree plantations in the Brazilian rainforest.

Lawyer Steven Kay of 9 Bedford Row representing Skeene advised Southwark Crown Court that the defence team needed more time to read the case documents.

He said the case is a “substantial matter”, according to Law360.

Skeene was arrested at Heathrow Airport on Saturday 29 June. The SFO opened its investigations into Global Forestry Investments in June 2014.

Judge Martin Beddoe extended Skeene’s bail and adjourned the plea hearing until 28 October.

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