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Three people convicted over £10m ‘ponzi’ scheme

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

The Serious Fraud Office says John Hirst, 61, and Richard Pollett, 70, were the main architects and operators of the Ponzi fraud, while Linda Hirst, 62, was complicit through money laundering.

Two were found guilty at Bradford Crown Court.

Daniel Hirst and Zoe Waite were acquitted of charges of money laundering.

The SFO investigation began in November 2009 following a complaint by an investor and was in conjunction with the West Yorkshire and Surrey police forces. The defendants were charged on various dates during March to July 2011. Pollett was extradited from Spain.

John Hirst pleaded guilty ahead of the trial. The trial of the other four defendants opened at Bradford Crown Court on 18 June 2012 with HHJ Jonathan Durham-Hall QC presiding. The jury retired on 6 August to consider their verdicts which were all returned today. Sentencing will take place on 31 August. Confiscation and compensation proceedings are to follow.

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