Accountant could be ordered to repay £740K in fraud case
AN accountant who defrauded elderly Islanders out of millions of pounds to pay for lavish holidays, a London flat and a Formula One car used by Michael Schumacher could be ordered to repay hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Richard Arthur, the former managing director of accountancy firm BDO, appeared before the Superior Number of the Royal Court, which only convenes for the most serious cases, for a confiscation hearing.
Arthur was jailed in July 2018 for seven years after being found guilty of committing ten counts of fraud between 2002 and 2009.
Yesterday Crown Advocate David Hopwood, outlining the case, sought a confiscation order of £740,000, adding that Arthur had ultimately benefitted from his crimes to the tune of £2,967,370.79.
He added that any compensation due to his victims should include any rise in value due to inflation.
However, he also said that there were ‘insufficient realisable assets’ to compensate all of the complainants.
Advocate Nicholas Mière, representing Arthur, said that it was not appropriate to include interest accrued within any orders, given how long it had taken to deal with the case.
He also criticised the prosecution for including sums of money that had already been paid to some victims as part of an earlier settlement.
‘We are a long way away from where we should be with these proceedings. It has been three and a half years since Mr Arthur was charged,’ he said.
He added: ‘Effectively, when all of these delays are taken into account, is it appropriate to apply for an increase? Is it appropriate or does it add insult to injury to Mr Arthur? Or is it an attempt by the prosecution to kick him while he is down?’
Advocate Paul Nicholls also spoke, making an application to vary a seizure order – known as a saisie – for Arthur’s mother and mother-in-law.
Addressing the court, Advocate Nicholls said that after Arthur was banned by the JFSC from working in Jersey’s finance industry, he lost his role as his family’s main bread-winner, and the £3.4-million family home was seized.
He said that his clients had used a large proportion of their savings to support Arthur’s family.
‘Let’s not lose sight that they have had to sue a close family member as they have been left with no other option. They are £618,000 out of pocket,’ Advocate Nicholls said.
Advocate Stephen Wauchope, representing Catherine Arthur, the defendant’s wife, said that his client had been forced to pay off debts – which were accruing around £50,000 of interest each year – caused by Arthur’s offending.
Jurats Charles Blampied, Jerry Ramsden, Jane Ronge, Elizabeth Dulake and Joanne Averty were sitting.
No decision has yet been made on how much Arthur may have to repay. A judgment will be issued in due course.
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