Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA probe leads to jail sentence for fugitive

FCA probe leads to jail sentence for fugitive

A businessman has been sentenced to more than five years' imprisonment having been found guilty of money laundering in one of the FCA’s largest and most complex insider dealing investigations.

Richard Baldwin was sentenced to 5 years and 8 months in his absence at Southwark Crown Court, London, after he absconded during his 2017 trial.

As well as money laundering, the sentence also includes punishment for separate contempts of court from November 2015 and for breaching a restraint order from June 2011.

Baldwin, a luxury watch dealer, laundered the proceeds of insider trading through offshore companies and bank accounts between October 2007 and November 2008.

His Honour Judge Hehir said Baldwin had been convicted on “compelling evidence” of “extremely sophisticated” money laundering.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Baldwin to be brought before the court.

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the Financial Conduct Authority, said: “Money launderers compound the harm caused by crime by helping to cover up the offence and making it more difficult for victims to get the redress they deserve.

"Mr Baldwin remains a fugitive. However, we will continue to pursue him to ensure he fully accounts for his wrongdoing and serves his sentence.”

According to the FCA, Baldwin’s business partner Andrew Hind introduced him to Martyn Dodgson who was able to source inside information from within the investment banks at which he worked.

This was then passed to Hind who carried out secret dealing for the benefit of Dodgson and himself.

The proceeds from the conspiracy were received through a company set up by Baldwin in Panama and a company bank account in Zurich.

The investigation revealed that in October 2007 Baldwin received £1.5m into the company account in Zurich, which was subsequently explained to his bankers through a false invoice.

The amount was then dissipated through other Panamanian companies and offshore accounts over the following year, concealing the true source of the funds, the FCA said.

On May 9, 2016, Martyn Dodgson and Andrew Hind were convicted of conspiracy to insider deal between November 2006 and March 2010.

Also convicted as part of the investigation were Paul Milsom, Graeme Shelley and Julian Rifat.