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Niall Hearty, Of Financial Crime Specialists Rahman Ravelli, Details The Conviction Of An Investment Manager Who Orchestrated A £100 Million Fraud – White Collar Crime, Anti-Corruption & Fraud



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Following a
Serious Fraud Office (SFO)
investigation, a man who attracted
more than £100 million from investors has been jailed for 14
years.

Timothy Schools was convicted of five counts of fraudulent
trading, fraud by abuse of position and money laundering. He had
set up the Cayman Islands-registered Axiom Legal Financing in 2009
and secured more than £100 million from around 500
investors.

Schools assured investors that their loans would be securely
invested in high-quality law firms to fund no-win-no-fee cases that
were very likely to succeed. But the funds were distributed to
three law firms (ATM, Ashton Fox and Bracewell’s) that he
either owned or held an undisclosed interest in.

Schools paid himself a salary of £1 million as well as
consultancy fees and personal benefits. Funds were transferred to
offshore accounts and trusts and then used to invest in luxury
purchases and shares.

The cases that were funded by Axiom tended to fail. But Schools
concealed this by arranging the repayment of old loans with new
loans so that directors, administrators and auditors believed that
loans were being repaid and returns were being made on
investments.

The case could act as a deterrent to others who abuse their
position of trust in such a wilful manner. The successful outcome
for the SFO comes at a good time for the agency, which has gone
through a period of turmoil following the recent publication of
damaging reviews into its handling of its Unaoil and Serco
investigations, where convictions were quashed due to SFO
shortcomings.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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