Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Conman took control of half an investment bank without paying"

From the Telegraph:
A convicted fraudster who took control of almost half a London investment bank without apparently paying a penny for the shares is being investigated by British authorities.

Russell King’s elaborate schemes took in former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, former spymaster Sir John Walker and even the North Korean government.
King, a convicted fraudster, obtained 49 per cent of First London PLC's shares in 2008 by falsely claiming he was managing billions of dollars for the Bahraini royal family, according to an investigation by the BBC’s Panorama.
The bank went into administration last year with debts of £8.7 million.
The case has been referred to the Serious Fraud Office by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), which was concerned about the unauthorised transfer of shares.
An FSA spokesman said they had not been given the appropriate notice that a transfer of shares was to take place. He said: "Had it been given proper notice it would have been in a position to consider whether it should use its powers to object to and prohibit the change of control."
Panorama: The Trillion Dollar Con Man, which airs tonight, claims that King used First London’s name and its high profile advisers to give credibility to his deals.

They included an attempt to obtain funding for a new company that claimed to have assets worth $2 trillion and the short-lived takeover of Notts County football club....MORE 
HT to the Economist that the story was out there: 
Swindling North Korea

Here's the Beeb on their Panorama piece.