Fraudster jailed for 28 months after pleading guilty to forgery

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Fraudster jailed for 28 months after pleading guilty to forgery
BySally Hickey

Stephen Allen has been sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to forgery.

The 69-year-old has also been disqualified from acting as a company director for eight years after being convicted of forging a trust deed in an attempt to help his client minimise restitution payments owed to victims.

Judge Bartle QC, who handed down the sentence at Southwark Crown Court today (September 24), said: “There came a time when Mr Allen was aware of what was going on and he forged the deed in circumstances indicated – an extremely serious matter knowing what consequences would be.” 

Allen’s charge relates to events that followed proceedings by the Financial Conduct Authority against Renwick Haddow for operating several unauthorised collective investment schemes, which had led to a successful judgement against Haddow and others in 2018. 

Haddow and others were then ordered by the High Court to pay £16.9m in restitution.

Among other assets, Haddow had an interest in a property -13 Brook Mews - which should have been made available to the FCA to fulfil this restitution order. 

But according to the FCA, Allen forged a trust deed that hid Haddow’s interest in this property, knowing it would be used to avoid the property being sold for the benefit of victims of the unauthorised collective investment schemes. 

The property has now been sold and proceeds have recently been distributed to affected investors.

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “Mr Allen deliberately disguised the true ownership of a central London property worth more than £1m, frustrating payment of compensation to victims of Mr Haddow’s unauthorised investment scheme. This is a serious facilitating offence.

"The FCA will pursue those who facilitate financial crime as well as principal offenders.”