A former tax adviser and partner with Touche Ross’ Nottingham branchyear investigation. has been accused of being a liar in Jersey’s largest-ever fraud trial which opened on Monday.
Alfred Williams, 49, is alleged to have audited false trading profits reported by his friend and fellow-accused, currency dealer Robert Young, 43. Williams denies ten charges of either making, or recklessly making, statements that were misleading, false or deceptive.
‘Williams told a number of lies,’ said Crown Advocate Cyril Whelan, outlining the case. ‘He claimed he had carried out an audit of Young’s trading, that he had checked and confirmed Young’s trading records and produced certificates which purported to show Young was trading profitably. The investors believed him.
‘The truth was Williams never carried out any audit or meaningful check on Young’s trading results.’
Young is said by the prosecution to have lost over $10m (#6.2m) of his clients’ money in five years while receiving payments totalling almost $6m, including $3.8m obtained through a secret commission-sharing deal with UBS’ Jersey subsidiary, the Cantrade Private Bank, through whom he placed all his deals. He denies six charges brought under Jersey’s Fraud Law relating to the making of false, misleading or deceptive statements.
It is Jersey’s most complex fraud trial and is the result of an investigation lasting four years that has involved fraud squad officers, London QCs and forensic accountants from Price Waterhouse and Robson Rhodes – which has submitted a two-volume report as evidence. Over a million documents have been amassed by the prosecution and a computer network is being used to provide virtually instant transcripts of evidence to the Court.
Cantrade Bank was also due to stand trial with Williams and Young but last month pleaded guilty to four charges of criminal recklessness by making misleading statements to investors.
It will be sentenced once the trial against Young and Williams is concluded.
A senior Cantrade manager, Peter Stoneman, walked free when it was announced that Jersey’s Attorney-General had decided not to proceed with 13 charges he had denied.
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