Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Next Step Taken to Extradite Three British Bankers to Face Enron Fraud Charges

The British Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, approved the extradition of David Bermingham, Gary Mulgrew and Giles Darby to the United States to face wire fraud charges in Houston related to transactions with an Enron-related SPE organized by Andy Fastow and Michael Kopper.  The three were officers of Greenwich NatWest, a division of NatWest Bank, which is now owned by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).  According to the indictment (here), when it became clear that NatWest would be acquired by RBS, which would put their jobs at risk, the three defendants hatched a scheme with Fastow and Kopper to take for themselves Greenwich NatWest's investment in a Cayman Islands company (LJM) that was used by Enron for off-books transactions.  The three defendants are charged with seven counts of wire fraud in relation to the scheme, and it is alleged they received a total of approximately $7.3 million from the transaction.  The defendants had sought to be tried in Britain because their actions took place there and the victim of the alleged fraud is a British company.  They can appeal Home Secretary Clarke's decision, which would likely slow the extradition process further.  The Times story (here) discusses the extradition decision, and check Tom Kirkendall's Houston's Clear Thinker blog (here) for information about the prosecution (including pictures of the three defendants). (ph)   

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/2005/05/three_british_b.html

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