James Lake successfully prosecutes multi-million pound fraud case

Following a series of trials spanning four years, Andrew Haslam KC leading James Lake for The CPS Serious Economic, Organised Crime and International Directorate (SEOCID), have successfully concluded the prosecution of a multi-million-pound fraud investigation, regarded as one of the largest ever conducted by North Yorkshire Police.

The initial police investigation following reports to Action Fraud

With over a dozen defendants now convicted and sentenced, the intricacies of the fraud can be disclosed for the first time.
The investigation began in 2015 following complaints made to Action Fraud about two ‘High Yield’ investment schemes being promoted by Simon Oakley and Jonathan Denton. Simon Oakley was an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) and Jonathan Denton was a Solicitor. Following a prior investigation “Operation Circus,” authorities received reports indicating the involvement of Simon Oakley, who had already drawn police attention during that inquiry. Reports suggested that Oakley was collaborating with Jonathan Denton, a London-based lawyer, in promoting an investment scheme suspected of being dubious and potentially fraudulent.

Ponzi Schemes uncovered

As part of “Operation Circus Two,” investigators conducted interviews with witnesses from various regions including the UK, Europe, America, and the Far East. They examined bank records associated with numerous individuals and companies and uncovered multiple Ponzi investment schemes.
The fraudulent schemes targeted both wealthy investors and individuals investing their life savings or pensions, resulting in substantial financial losses. It is estimated that investors lost close to £25 million.
The investigation uncovered not only multiple Ponzi schemes but also led the police to two corrupt Financial Services company run by Andrew Luckhurst and his partner, Nicholas Shaw.
The defendants were charged with offences which including fraud by abuse of position, fraud by false representation and money laundering.

Sentencing

A trial involving some of the defendants started in 2020, but was abandoned after ten weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, and did not recommence until the spring of 2022.
There followed a series of four trials, all held at Birmingham Crown Court
The trials resulted in 12 convictions and total sentences of over 115 years’ imprisonment.

Related people

James Lake

James Lake

Call: 2005

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