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FRC slaps formal complaint on disgraced Torex accountant Mark Woodbridge

THE FRC has imposed a disciplinary formal complaint on convicted fraudster Mark Woodbridge.

Woodbridge, who was jailed for three years and ten months, was the former group financial accountant of Torex Retail.

The FRC’s complaint alleges that Woodbridge’s conduct “fell significantly short of the standards reasonably to be expected of a member and has brought discredit to him and to the accountancy profession in that he has been convicted by Oxford Crown Court of the criminal offences of false accounting and conspiracy to defraud”.

An independent disciplinary tribunal will now be appointed to hear the formal complaint.

In 2013, Woodbridge, was convicted alongside Christopher Moore, a former CEO at Torex, and former chairman Robert Loosemore of conspiring to defraud the former AIM-listed company’s shareholders between May and August 2006, by falsely inflating the cash/bank revenue figures of the company’s interim results by £6.5m.

Moore was jailed for 30 months and Loosemore for 20.

The trio created a false distribution agreement worth £5m between the company and Loosemore’s private company Magdalen Consulting , and a false goodwill deposit agreement worth £1.5m between the company and Loosemore.

All three were also found to have conspired between November 2006 and January 2007 to defraud shareholders by creating a false agreement between Torex and Magdalen which purported to vary the original false distribution agreement in order to sustain the original fraud.

Woodbridge was also found guilty of one count of false accounting between May and August 2006 by causing a further sum of £2m revenue to be falsely recognised in the company’s interim statement. He was acquitted of two other counts.

In December, the FRC launched an investigation into the conduct of Moore and Woodbridge under its accountancy scheme.

But in July 2014, it dropped its seven month probe into Moore because of ‘insufficient evidence of misconduct’ during the period in which Moore was a member of the ACCA.

 

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