AWELSH former Entrepreneur of the Year and five others have appeared in court accused of orchestrating a Pounds 142m fraud. It is alleged that banks were deceived into issuing loans to broadband company H.O Networks via Total Asset Finance after the latter produced fake contracts between H.O and its customers.
Elfed Wynn Thomas, 53, George Alexander, 47, Carl Cumiskey, 53, Stephen Dartnell, 58, Kerry Ann Lloyd, 48, Simon Mundy, 48, are all accused of setting up the scam. They appeared at Southwark Crown Court yesterday as a plea and case management hearing was set for June.
Welshman Thomas was awarded the title of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the North and Midlands Region in 2010. Described by Ernst & Young as a "science, technology and communications entrepreneur", he won recognition for his company i3, a superfast-broadband provider.
Both Barclays and KBC Lease (UK) Ltd - an arm of Belgian bank KBC NV - were affected, with the latter allegedly handing over Pounds 128m.
KBC have been repaid part of their losses, while Barclays have been fully refunded, prosecutors said. The allegations relate a period between January 2007 and November 2010.
Dartnell Alexander and Lloyd worked at Total Asset Finance, Thomas and Cumiskey worked for H2O Networks Ltd, while Mundy, who worked at KBC Lease UK, is alleged to have approved the transactions in exchange for cash.
Thomas, of Gloddaeth View, Penrhyn, Llandudno, is charged with a count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. Alexander, of Cotton Street, Manchester, and Cumiskey, of Waverton, Chester, are charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. Dartnell, of King's Lynn, Norfolk, and Lloyd, of Westhead, Omskirk, are charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Mundy, of Over Wallop, Stockbridge, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
(c) 2015 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.