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SFO loses final Morgan Grenfell round in court

The Serious Fraud Office&#39s last chance of securing a conviction in

the 1996 Morgan Grenfell scandal finally slipped away last week as

Norwegian stockbroker Erik Langaker was acquitted.

Langaker was found not guilty at Kingston crown court on charges of

conspiracy to defraud. Charges against his colleague Jan Helge

Johnsen were stayed in May 2000 after it was revealed that he had

term-inal cancer.

Morgan Grenfell fund manager Stewart Armer appeared with Langaker at

Kingston crown court but in December 2001 Mr Justice Jackson directed

the jury on a point of law to return verdicts of not guilty of

conspiracy to defraud and to concealing material facts.

Peter Young – who is alleged to have been at the centre of the

scandal – was found unfit to stand trial at the end of 2000 after

being diagnosed as schizophrenic.

The charges relate to irregularities surrounding Young&#39s European

funds, which he managed for Morgan Grenfell in the early to mid 1990s.

The case against Langaker alleged he conspired in the creation of 13

holding companies registered in Luxemburg which were controlled by

funds managed by Young who then invested in stocks.

Langaker and Johnsen worked for Norwegian stockbrokers Fiba Nordic,

which traded with Morgan Grenfell through Young.

A trial of the facts on Young&#39s role will be held this year although

no verdict will be passed.

SFO spokesman David Jones says: “We accept the decision of the court.”

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