PracticeAccounting FirmsMidlands duo accused of using celebrity names to dupe clients

Midlands duo accused of using celebrity names to dupe clients

Accountants on trial in Birmingham Crown Court for allegedly using society connections to lure investors to bogus schemes

Celebrity names were used to entice victims into a Ponzi scheme run by two
midlands accountants accused of defrauding individual investors of hundreds of
thousands of pounds, a court has heard.

Shinder Singh Gangar and his former partner Alan White, of Nottingham-based
Dobb White & Co, are fighting to maintain their innocence in Birmingham
Crown Court, where they are being tried for conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy
to commit corruption.

Gangar and White are alleged to have offered returns of up to 62% per annum
in a bond underwriting investment plan.

No investments were made but the ‘returns’ came from new investors in the
scheme, the Serious Fraud Office is alleging.

Gangar, a lapsed member of the ICAEW, was described in court this week as the
‘frontman’ of the operation. He allegedly lured well-heeled Britons with his
talk of associations with celebrities such as Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Terry
Brady, father of Birmingham Football Club managing director Karren Brady.

White, a former member of ACCA, was accused of being the ‘administrator’ who
would give investing clients the ‘co-ordinates’ of where they should direct
their cash.
Witnesses described in court this week how they were allegedly duped. Elizabeth
Watson, whose parents, sister and aunt were also caught up, said Gangar had
‘impressed’ her when she first met him in 2001.

‘He seemed to be dealing with well-known celebrities and was doing well. He
gave me the impression he was a globetrotter…

When I met Shinder Gangar, he showed me a contract signed by Andrew Lloyd
Webber…I understood Lloyd Webber had invested in his scheme,’ said Watson.
Gangar later told her Lloyd Webber had invested £1.2m in his scheme, and that
Terry Brady had also invested an amount of £10m.

‘He told me he worked with top people… that the Queen’s lawyers, Farrers,
were his solicitors and that he was connected to Merrill Lynch, Emerging Markets
Securities and Wells Fargo,’ Watson said.

Watson told the court that Gangar also claimed he had $180m (£86m) under his
management. Watson invested £400,000 in the scheme, while other members
of her family put in a further £300,000.

The case has been in court since 3 July and is expected to conclude early
next year.

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