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Retrial set for adviser accused of Axiom involvement

Retrial set for adviser accused of Axiom involvement
Credit: Shutterstock/Fotoware

A financial adviser accused of involvement in the Axiom fraud trial will face a retrial in March 2024, a court has heard.

More than 500 investors put money into the Axiom Legal Financing Fund scheme, which claimed to insure lenders against unfinished cases or solicitors going bankrupt.

But savers ended up losing more than £120m following the collapse of the fund in 2012, Southwark Crown Court has heard.

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Last month, struck-off solicitor Timothy Schools, 61, who called his firm 'ATM' because he used it as his personal cash machine, was jailed for 14 years for ripping off investors.

Schools, of Sedburgh, received £19.5m from the Cayman Islands-registered fund, using some of the money to pay for an estate in Cumbria.

He denied but was convicted of three counts of fraudulent trading, one count of fraud and one count of transferring criminal property.

Financial adviser David Kennedy, 69, of Tyne and Wear, denied one count of fraudulent trading and the jury failed to reach a verdict against him following more than 30 hours of deliberations.

The Serious Fraud Office announced yesterday (September 1) Kennedy will face a retrial on the single charge at Southwark Crown Court on 18 March 2024 - a wait of more than 18 months.

Another lawyer, Richard Emmett, 48, of Preston, Lancs, was cleared by the jury of fraudulent trading and facilitating criminal property.

In a statement, Emmett's solicitor Paul Schofield, said: "Richard and his family have had to endure enormous stress for almost five years. 

"He has always protested his innocence, he has vigorously defended these proceedings and has now, at last, been vindicated by the correct verdicts returned by the jury and is delighted with the result."

Eddie Beaver at Southwark Crown Court