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By Michael Trudeau | Published Dec 05, 2011

Third man found guilty over £19m loan fraud

A man has been found guilty of forgery and two fraud offences at Southwark Crown Court today (5 December) in relation to a €22m (£18.9m) loan fraud.

Kevin James Steele, 51, a former partner of London-based law firm Mishcon de Reya, was found guilty for his role in the scam, which allegedly involved the use of false and forged documents to provide security for millions of pounds in loans from Switzerland based EFG Private Bank.

Mr Steele’s conviction follows on from the guilty pleas entered by his two alleged accomplices, Michael Andrew Shephard, 50, and Mark Terence Pattinson, 38, before the trail began.

According to a statement issued by the Serious Fraud Office, the three men falsely claimed to be from Bank Julius Baer and Company in Guernsey and provided false documents to this effect.

Between 20 July and 22 August 2008, the men are said to have told EFG there was £76.4m held in two accounts at Julius Baer, which was used as security for loans totalling €22m from EFG to Mr Shephard.

According to the SFO, Mr Steel also abused his position as a partner at Mishcon de Reya solicitors by dealing with Mr Shephard in such a way that would inevitably expose his firm to risk or loss.

Sentencing will take place on 9 January 2012.

Richard Alderman, director of the SFO, said: “I welcome today’s verdict. It’s a victory for honesty and fair dealing in business.”

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