Cash, cruises and sex parties: inside ex-HBOS manager’s £245m scam

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    At the tallness of the credit blast in 2005, an agent was sent by his supervisor to a corporate level in Portman Square in London’s West End.

    In his grasp was an envelope containing about £4,000 in real money for which he had been given particular guidelines.

    He was to hand the bundle to a business contact called Lynden Scourfield, then a lead chief of the HBOS’s impeded resources division, who was relied upon to engage visitors in the flat. On the other hand, if the investor wasn’t in living arrangement, the money was to be left for him in “the blue drawer”, which alluded to the detect that was likewise used to store Viagra for sex parties.

    Ex-HBOS supervisor and five others confront imprison over £245m trick

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    That may all appear like the preface for another Netflix arrangement, on which the scriptwriters still need to do a touch of work.

    However, it was the scene-setter that welcomed members of the jury at Southwark crown court in September, as they arranged to hear an extortion case identifying with one of the crustiest of back divisions, corporate managing an account. This is the apparently tired old exchange of loaning cash to organizations.

    Still, the story took the court back to a budgetary period when any liberality was energized – and was supported by unremarkable administrators who expected their own particular virtuoso was making them rich.

    In any case, now it can be accounted for interestingly that Scourfield, 54, is degenerate, and conceded a year ago to six include identifying with his part a plan that cost the bank £245m.

    On Monday his business relate David Mills, 60, who maintained a private venture turnaround consultancy Quayside Corporate Services (QCS), Mills’ significant other. Alison, 51, or more their partners Michael Bancroft, 73, and Tony Cartwright, 72, were altogether indicted for their parts in running Scourfield’s trick.

    A 6th man, Mark Dobson, 56, who worked for Scourfield at HBOS, was likewise indicted, while one other litigant, Jonathan Cohen, 57, was vindicated.

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    Regardless of his nonappearance from the court having changed his supplication a year ago, Scourfield’s nearness lingered over procedures every day of the four-month trial.

    The jury heard more shocking stories of those gatherings held in the London level, which provoked one sex specialist to remark on Scourfield’s motion picture star looks (unfortunately for him, Danny de Vito). They additionally heard how, aside from financing the night amusements, Mills likewise connected to have a moment card on his American Express record, which was issued under Scourfield’s name.

    That Amex card was utilized to pay for, in addition to other things, a £5,880, three-day journey amongst Nice and St Tropez in October 2004, which was reserved by Scourfield for himself and his significant other, and also the Millses.

    It likewise demonstrates a reserving for a seven-day side trip for the Scourfields in the wake of boarding the Grand Princess voyage deliver in Miami prior that year, in addition to on-board costs totalling $2,769 (£2,215), of which $1,580 was spent in the ship’s blessing and gem retailer.

    As an end-result of Mills’ liberality, the arraignment charged, Scourfield would utilize his position inside HBOS to make a few requests of his customers and their battling organizations, for example, enlisting Mills as a costly counsel to firms before they could get credits. Now and again, the jury was told, Mills and his partners additionally took control of the battling organizations, running them for their own advantage.

    “Scourfield progressed enormous entireties to the organizations, and kept on doing as such well past the moment that it would have been clear to any fair broker that the bank obligation could and could never be reimbursed,” Brian O’Neill QC, arraigning, told the court.

    He included that more than £28m went from HBOS through the financial balances of either Mills, his significant other or organizations under his control – and keeping in mind that not the greater part of that cash remained with the respondents, Mills and his better half “benefitted colossally”.

    Yet, who was harmed by this? Lloyds Banking Group is one casualty. It had assumed control HBOS, was safeguarded by the citizen and was along these lines compelled to discount £250m from its disabled resources division. Of that aggregate, £245m identified with bank clients under Scourfield’s administration.

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    In the mean time, campaigners say that lives of a portion of the general population maintaining the organizations have been destroyed as they watched firms they had developed being drained.

    All of which was permitted by the careless controls inside the bank, the jury was told. The court heard how the HBOS PC framework allowed financiers to support credit places of customers without endorsement. The administrator who found the trick depicted the failings as “bewildering”.

    Giving confirmation in court, Tom Angus, who took control of the bank’s debilitated resources in July 2006, reviewed how he had created an inside audit in 2007 focussing on 38 battling organizations, each of which had gotten “sporadic” credits and which together owed the bank £375m. Every one of the 38 were directed by Scourfield.

    After his survey, Angus had been left with “the unmistakable impression that Lynden [Scourfield] had been concurring considerable measures of credit to upset organizations … totally without his power and with no authorisation from [his bosses]”.

    These perceptions were went down by the supposed David Miller report, distributed in May 2007, in addition to a different examination by the HBOS corporate money related wrongdoing avoidance group, which delivered the first of its three reports on 27 March 2007. Scourfield left the put money on 8 March that prior year formally leaving a month later.

    However even after all that, HBOS demanded to casualties that there had been nothing amiss with Mills’ QCS.2

    A portion of the bank’s previous customers advised the Guardian they were dazed to get notification from the trial that HBOS had researched advances managed by Scourfield before the bank let them know there had been no extortion.

    Lloyds demanded Monday it was just the police that had the capacity to examine if there had been a fake and included: “The trial highlighted criminal activities that bear no reflection on the practices of most by far of the workers of HBOS at the time or in the gathering today.”

    All of which does little to reduce the feeling that the time of budgetary history concentrated on amid the trial was one of a long blow out, continued running falsely with other individuals’ cash. With the advantage of insight into the past, Scourfield’s night excitements look an able similitude.

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