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Eight charged in £35m bank loan corruption case

08/01/2013

Eight people have today been charged in relation to a £35m bank loan corruption case.

Sue Patten, Head of Fraud at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Following a thorough fraud and corruption investigation by Thames Valley Police, we have today authorised eight people to be charged in connection to business loans made through a high street bank to a value of around £35 million.

"Two former employees of HBOS, Lynden Scourfield and Mark Dobson, senior managers in Reading and Bishopsgate, have been charged with conspiracy to corrupt, contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977. Also charged as part of the same conspiracy to corrupt are David Mills and Michael Bancroft of Quayside Corporate Services (QCS), a turnaround consultancy.

"The allegation is that Scourfield was provided with numerous high value gifts by Mills and Bancroft in return for appointing QCS to administer bank loans to companies in difficulty. The evidence suggests that Dobson was a party to this relationship, which was in place between January 2003 and September 2010.

"Scourfield, Mills and Bancroft are also charged with three counts of fraudulent trading contrary to the Companies Act 1985. It is alleged that they administered businesses knowing that it was for a fraudulent purpose. John Cartright, an associate of QCS, is also charged with one count of fraudulent trading.

"Further, Scourfield, Mills and Bancroft will face, together with their wives, one count of money laundering contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. They are Jacqueline Scourfield, Alison Mills and Beverley Bancroft.

"This decision to prosecute was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. We have determined that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and a prosecution is in the public interest.

"All eight defendants will appear before Reading Magistrates' Court on 18 January 2013.

"They now stand charged with criminal offences and have the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice this trial."

Ends

Charges in detail:

CONSPIRACY TO CORRUPT

David Mills, Michael Bancroft, Lynden Scourfield and Mark Dobson between 1 January 2003 and the 29 September 2010 did conspire together and with others to corruptly offer and accept gifts or consideration as an inducement or reward for the said Lynden Scourfield and Mark Dobson for doing or forbearing to do acts in relation to their principal's affairs or for showing favour to the said David Mills and Michael Bancroft in relation to their principal's affairs or business.

Contrary to Section 1 Criminal Law Act 1977

 

FRAUDULENT TRADING

David Mills, Michael Bancroft and Lynden Scourfield between the 1 January 2002 and 30 September 2007 were knowingly a party to the carrying on of the business of Cotton Bottoms Ltd for a fraudulent purpose namely to receive their benefit from criminal conduct arising from the corrupt relationship. 

Contrary to Section 458 Companies Act 1985

David Mills, Michael Bancroft and Lynden Scourfield between 1 January 2002 and 30 September 2007 were knowingly a party to the carrying on of the business of Remnant Media Ltd for a fraudulent purpose their benefit from criminal conduct arising from the corrupt relationship. 

Contrary to Section 458 Companies Act 1985

David Mills, Michael Bancroft, Lynden Scourfield and John Cartwright between 1 January 2002 and 30 September 2007 were knowingly a party to the carrying on of the business of Theros Limited and its subsidiary group of companies for a fraudulent purpose their benefit from criminal conduct arising from the corrupt relationship . 

Contrary to Section 458 Companies Act 1985

 

MONEY LAUNDERING

David Mills and Alison Mills on days between 1 January 2004 and 13 October 2010 acquired criminal property namely the benefits of the corrupt relationship between those named in count one. 

Contrary to Section 329 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Lynden Scourfield and Jacqueline Scourfield on days between 1 January 2004 and 30 October 2010 acquired criminal property namely the receipt of corrupt payments. 

Contrary to Section 329 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Michael Bancroft and Beverley Bancroft on days between 1 January 2004 and 13 October 2010 acquired criminal property namely the benefits of the corrupt relationship between those named in count one. 

Contrary to Section 329 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

On the 26 February 2016 the CPS formally offered no evidence against Mrs Bancroft (in relation to the above).