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Three people charged over £10m “ponzi” scheme

Three individuals have been charged in connection with an alleged £10m fraudulent investment scheme.

Daniel Hirst of West Yorkshire; Linda Christine Hirst of Surrey and Zoe Waite of Surrey all appeared at Bradford Magistrates Court today in response to a summons in connection with the alleged scheme and were charged with offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

The scheme targeted UK nationals and other expatriates living in Mallorca, as well as investors in France and the USA. Over £10m was obtained from investors with losses believed to be around £6 million.

This follows the charging of John Neil Hirst on March 16, 2011 with conspiracy to defraud and money laundering offences. Hirst operated Gilher Inc, which was a Panama and Seychelles registered company, which invested funds on behalf of private clients.

The investigation started in November 2009 following complaints made to the SFO by investors. The investigation was conducted with the assistance of West Yorkshire and Surrey police forces and overseas law enforcement authorities. Other suspects are still being investigated over their involvement.

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  1. I do wish the FSA would target more of its resources at snuffing out these schemes before they fail rather than worrying if a client was correctly categorised as risk profile 4 rather than 5 etc.

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