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FCA in bid to recover £1.6m from insider dealing fugitive

FCA in bid to recover £1.6m from insider dealing fugitive

An insider-dealing fugitive has been ordered to pay more than £1.6m by the courts or face a further eight years on his prison sentence. 

A confiscation order granted by Southwark Crown Court today (October 5) ordered £1,633,766 to be paid by Richard Baldwin, the former businessman who absconded from his trial for money laundering in 2017.

Baldwin was sentenced to five years and eight months in his absence in 2019 and the 53 year-old remains at large despite a warrant being issued for his arrest. 

If he fails to pay the £1.6m order within the next three months a further eight years could be added to his sentence. 

Alongside money laundering the prison sentence also included time for separate contempts of court which he admitted in 2015 and for breaching a restraint order from June 2011.

The conviction was part of Operation Tabernula, one of the biggest insider dealing investigations led by the Financial Conduct Authority which also saw Baldwin's co-defendants Martyn Dodgson and Andrew Hind sentenced to a combined eight years in prison in 2016. 

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: "Money-launderers compound the harm caused by crime by helping to cover up the offence and the proceeds from it.

"Mr Baldwin remains a fugitive. However, this will not prevent us from pursuing a confiscation order to recover the benefit a person has obtained from their criminality."

Baldwin laundered the proceeds of insider trading through offshore companies, bank accounts and false invoices between October 2007 and November 2008.

At his sentencing hearing His Honour Judge Hehir said Baldwin had been convicted on "compelling evidence" of "extremely sophisticated" money laundering.

According to the FCA, Baldwin’s business partner Hind introduced him to 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.

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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