Regulation  

HBoS banker jailed for 11 years over fraud

HBoS banker jailed for 11 years over fraud

A former HBoS banker who “sold his soul” for sex and luxury trips has been jailed for 11 years.

Lynden Scourfield, 54, lead director of HBoS’s impaired-assets division, agreed £245m in loans that could never be repaid in order to pay for his lavish lifestyle.

He headed a division at HBoS that dealt with small companies in financial distress and lent eye-watering sums of cash to the failing businesses as his friend David Mills, 60, and his associates charged exorbitant fees for “consultancy services” and ran the companies into the ground.

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Mills was also sentenced to 15 years in jail at Southwark Crown Court yesterday.

Sentencing Scourfield, Judge Martin Beddoe said: “I do not know when or how David Mills got his hold on you, but that he did.

“He is the devil to whom you sold your soul. For sex, for luxury trips with and without your wife; for bling and for swank.”

He said the actions of Scourfield were “as gross and persistent a breach of trust as I have come across in practice or on the bench”.

The judge said Mills was a “thoroughly corrupt and devious man” who “exploited the weaknesses of others”.

He said Mills did “little or nothing” for the companies he consulted on except “bleed them”.

HBoS, once the UK's biggest mortgage lender, suffered a devastating collapse during the 2008 credit crunch - and taxpayers were left to foot the £20.5bn bill.

Scourfield admitted conspiracy to corrupt, money laundering and four counts of fraudulent trading at Southwark Crown Court in August last year and is currently behind bars.

Mills, his wife Alison Mills, 51, fellow consultant Michael Bancroft, 73, and HBoS banker Mark Dobson, 56, were convicted with him of offences including conspiracy to corrupt, fraudulent trading and conspiracy to conceal criminal property after a four-and-a-half month trial.

Accountant John Cartwright, 72, was found guilty of conspiracy to conceal criminal property but Jonathan Cohen, 57, was cleared of involvement in the conspiracy.

Scourfield, a director of impaired assets for HBoS based in Reading, appointed Mills' firm QCS to administer bank loans to companies in financial difficulty.

As an adviser to struggling customers he recommended Mills as an expert to rescue their failing businesses.

In return Scourfield was lavished with cash, expensive gifts, the use of an American Express card, and luxurious foreign travel.

Mills used much more than just money and gifts to keep Scourfield “sweet”.

Porn star Suzie Best, a favourite of Scourfield, did a girl-on-girl show for a the group, who she described as the “posh twat bankers”.

She recalled giving oral sex to some of the men including Scourfield, who she described as a “Danny DeVito lookalike”.

Bancroft, of Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to corrupt, three counts of fraudulent trading and one count of conspiracy to conceal criminal property and was sentenced to 10 years.