Ex-ICAEW accountant jailed for Ponzi scam

A FORMER ICAEW accountant has been jailed for six years for his role in running a sophisticated ‘Ponzi’ scam.

Disgraced 63-year-old Geoffrey Langdale, who ran Langdale Accountants, of High Bentham, Lancaster, was sentenced today at Bradford Crown Court after pleading guilty to charges of obtaining money transfers by deception and fraud.

The court heard that he had amassed £2.3m from the Ponzi scheme over an 11-year period and blown some of his illicit gains on pornography websites and a Russian dancer’s webcam as well as using the funds to prop up his own business, the court heard. Over £1.1m is still missing.

Langdale, of Springfield, Bentham, near Skipton, is now set to face further probes under the Proceeds of Crime Act in a bid to recover some of the outstanding funds from his assets, the Yorkshire Post reports.

Prosecutor Alasdair Campbell told the court how Langdale, who was struck off from the ICAEW in 2009 for a litany of audit-related failures, dishonestly obtained more than £2.3m from would-be investors, with around £1.1m being repaid through the scheme.

He said Langdale had been “robbing Peter to pay Paul” and when his fraudulent behaviour came to light early last year, he was arrested in June 2013.

The court was told that Langdale had squandered £6,000 on adult websites in 2009 and 2010 and withdrawn almost £130,000 in cash.

“The Crown will never know where that money has gone,” said Mr Campbell. “It was not spent on flash cars or valuable paintings.”

Mr Campbell said one of Langdale’s victims was the widow of a golfing partner who lost £130,000 through the scam.

Langdale, who has no previous convictions, told police that neither his wife – who has now divorced him – or his staff, were aware of the fraud.

His barrister Christopher Evans said Langdale’s reputation was “in tatters” and he would leave prison penniless.

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