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February 8, 2017updated 12 Apr 2017 3:43pm

Total Asset: Dartnell, Alexander and two more found guilty in £160m fraud

Four individuals were found guilty at Southwark Crown Court yesterday for conspiracy to make corrupt payments and conspiracy to commit fraud against two business lenders, Barclays Bank and KBC Lease (UK) Limited (“KBC”), a subsidiary of Belgian banking group KBC, in order to obtain almost £160m.

By Saad Ahmed

Four individuals were found guilty at Southwark Crown Court yesterday for conspiracy to make corrupt payments and conspiracy to commit fraud against two business lenders, Barclays Bank and KBC Lease (UK) Limited (“KBC”), a subsidiary of Belgian banking group KBC, in order to obtain almost £160m.

Stephen Dartnell and George Alexander of Total Asset, Carl Cumiskey of H20, and Simon Mundy of KBC were found guilty after a court case lasting five months and two weeks.

George Alexander was found guilty on two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. Stephen Dartnell was found guilty on two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, and one count of conspiracy to give corrupt payments.

Simon Mundy was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, and one count of conspiracy to give corrupt payments. Mundy was paid nearly £900,000 by Dartnell as an “inside man” to approve the funding to Total Asset from KBC.

Carl Cumiskey was found guilty on two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, with a majority verdict of 10-2 on both counts.

Kerry Lloyd of Total Asset was found not guilty on two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and one count of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, and  Elfed Thomas of H20 was also found not guilty, on one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said the jury were told by counsel for the SFO during the trial that there was no dispute that fraud on a massive scale had occurred, but the defendants denied involvement and, in the main, blamed each other.

The case involved a total of 42 contract transactions between H2O, Total Asset, and KBC, and three to Barclays, in pursuit of fibre optic network systems in local authorities, dubbed ‘fibre cities’, which took place between 2007 and 2010.

David Green, director of the SFO, said: “This was a carefully planned, complex and lucrative fraud which ran over three years. It took a determined investigation to ensure that those responsible for it were brought to justice. We will now turn our attention to securing confiscation of criminal assets from those convicted.”

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