Sunday, January 17, 2021

Operation Tabernula fugitive convicted of money laundering: FCA

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The FCA has announced that Richard Baldwin, a key figure in the FCA’s Operation Tabernula investigation, has been convicted for money laundering.

Baldwin was convicted in 2017 after absconding from justice during the proceeds, however the regulator was prevented from making any announcements due to reporting restrictions.

Operation Tabernula, one of the FCA’s largest and most complex insider dealing investigations, found that Baldwin helped launder the proceeds of insider dealing through offshore companies and bank accounts.

Baldwin was a business partner of Andrew Hind who, along with Martyn Dodgson, was convicted of conspiracy to insider deal between November 2006 and March 2010.

Read MoreFCA focused on anti money laundering in fight against financial crime

Dodgson sourced inside information from within the investment banks at which he worked and passed on this inside information to Hind who acted as a ‘middle man’.

To receive some of the proceeds from the conspiracy, Baldwin set up a company in Panama and opened a company bank account in Zurich in which he deposited £1.5 million from insider dealing in Scottish & Newcastle plc.

Baldwin later fled to Geneva, withdrawing the sterling equivalent of £114,000 in cash and liquidated assets worth more than £82,500.

His conviction brings the number of convictions secured in the Operation Tabernula investigation to six.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Baldwin’s arrest for him to be brought before the Court for sentencing in September.

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said:“Combatting money laundering is a priority for the FCA.

This was a complex investigation involving the tracing of funds through layers of international banking transactions by off-shore companies.

“The FCA will not tolerate criminals who facilitate others to abuse our markets. This case demonstrates our determination to pursue not only those who commit insider dealing but those who are prepared to launder the ill-gotten gains from abusing our market.

“The case also sends a clear message that the FCA is determined to deprive criminals of the proceeds of crime. We are robust in monitoring Restraint Orders and will take action if breaches occur.”

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