Ex-Touche adviser faces jail

Jersey’s mammoth fraud trial ended last Thursday with former Toucheserious offences’. Ross partner Alfred Williams and foreign exchange dealer Robert Young both found guilty of making misleading, false or deceptive statements to investors.

Williams, 49, and Young, 44, both from Nottingham, are behind bars at the island’s La Moye prison awaiting sentencing on 7 May. Their lawyers urged Jersey’s Royal Court to allow bail, but this was strongly opposed by Crown Advocate Cyril Whelan, for the prosecution, who said the two committed ‘very serious offences’.

Young lost $10m of investors’ money in currency deals carried out through UBS’s Jersey subsidiary, Cantrade Private Bank – which pleaded guilty before the start of the trial to four charges of criminal recklessness by making misleading statements.

The bank will also be sentenced on 7 May.

Williams, a former tax adviser and partner with Touche Ross’ Nottingham branch, produced documents purporting to audit Young’s false trading figures.

Whelan told the court Williams, a friend of Young, was not a qualified accountant and had told a number of lies.

‘The truth was Williams never carried out any audit or meaningful check on Young’s trading results,’ said Whelan.

He added the claim Young’s trading results were being audited by Touche Ross ‘was a key selling point’ and investors were shown certificates on Touche Ross headed paper which stated ‘we have ascertained the results are a true record of the transactions concluded’.

Whelan also revealed Young asked the Jersey branch of Touche Ross to audit his trading figures but when told the firm would require contract notes, bank statements and other documents they never heard from him again.

In his defence, Williams said morale slumped at the Nottingham branch of what had previously been Spicer and Oppenheim following the takeover by Touche Ross, now Deloitte & Touche.

There were 16 partners at the branch, he said, earning around #75,000 each, and it was decided four had to go.

‘Staff were under intense pressure under Touche Ross rules,’ he added, saying he had often worked a 70-hour week.

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