NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Man, 66, on trial accused of £12.9m fraud

High Court sign
Image caption The trial at the High Court in Edinburgh is expected to last several weeks

A man has gone on trial accused of a £12.9m fraud by pretending to investors he had placed their money in non-existent high interest bank accounts.

Alistair Greig, 66, faces allegations dating between August 2001 and October 2014 at various addresses in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, and Lincolnshire.

Mr Greig, of Boston, Lincolnshire, denies the charges.

Jurors at the High Court in Edinburgh were told that proceedings were expected to take three to four weeks.

It is alleged Mr Greig carried out a fraudulent scheme and breached financial services and proceeds of crime laws.

A special defence which states that other people were responsible for the alleged criminality has been lodged.

The Crown alleges that Mr Greig carried out a fraudulent scheme by his own hand and by the hands of independent financial advisors that he directed.

The Crown claims that these financial advisors were employed by or affiliated to a company called Park Row Associates PLC and to another firm called Midas Financial Solutions (Scotland) Ltd.

It is claimed that Mr Greig pretended to investors that he would invest their cash in high interest accounts with the Royal Bank of Scotland for fixed periods of time.

The Crown alleges that Mr Greig pretended to investors that the return of capital and interest was guaranteed. It is claimed the he pretended the scheme was authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and by its predecessor the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

'Not guaranteed'

Mr Greig also allegedly claimed that he was authorised by the FCA and the FSA to accept or hold deposits.

The Crown claims Mr Greig knew there were no high interest accounts with the Royal Bank of Scotland and that the return to investors was not guaranteed.

It is also claimed that Mr Greig knew that the scheme was not authorised by financial watchdogs and that they had not authorised him to accept or hold deposits from investors.

The Crown also claims that the "sums of money returned to said investors did not represent interest made on the sums of money deposited by them but were sums of money that had been deposited in the scheme by other investors".

The charge states that by "such false pretences" Mr Greig obtained a total of £12,982,789.23 by fraud.

The second charge states that between August 2001 and August 2014 at various addresses Mr Greig accepted a total of £13,082,263.51 of deposits into bank accounts held in the names of companies called Park Row Associates and Midas Financial Aberdeen.

It is claimed that Mr Greig was not allowed to do this.

The trial, before judge Lord Tyre, continues.

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