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Extradited defendant faces £16m fraud case

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A FORMER Islander appeared before the Royal Court yesterday charged with fraud allegedly amounting to £16 million after a lengthy extradition process.

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Russell Stephen King is accused of 25 counts of fraud and larceny, including the allegedly fraudulent sale of the Belgravia Financial Services Group.

He has not lived in the Island since 2008 and has most recently been residing in Bahrain. Mr King was brought to Jersey following extradition proceedings involving the police Joint Financial Crime Unit, the Law Officers’ Department, Interpol and the Metropolitan Police, among other agencies.

The 59-year-old appeared before a specially convened sitting of the Royal Court without legal representation, having arrived in the Island hours earlier.

Crown Advocate Matthew Jowitt, prosecuting, said: ‘Extradition was sought and granted in respect of a substantial number of alleged dishonest offences.

‘It is alleged the misappropriation is something in the order of £16 million pounds.’

The charges include forgery, falsification of accounts and larceny, among other alleged offences, dating back to 2008 when Mr King was living in the Island.

During the short hearing, Mr King – who required a wheelchair to get in and out of court – said: ‘I would like to point out that I would have no problems respecting what this court might decide to do.

‘I arrived here a couple of hours ago and I have been extremely well looked after by the police. I need some time to reflect on the charges. I have no problems facing them and at some stage coming up with what the plea will be and thank the court for their time and consideration.’

Mr King was remanded in custody and ordered to appear before the Royal Court again next Friday. Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith was presiding and Jurats Jerry Ramsden and Rozanne Thomas were sitting.

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