A RIBBLE Valley man who was part of a €22 million forgery fraud on a Swiss bank has been jailed for 18 months.
Mark Terence Pattinson, 38, of Sharley Fold, Longridge, and his co-conspirators Michael Andrew Shephard, 50, of Wellington Road, Lancaster, and Kevin James Christopher Steele, 51, of Forge Drive, Claygate, Esher, Surrey, defrauded the EFG Private Bank of Zurich with a loan application based on false claims in 2008.
They pretended to have £76million sat in two Guernsey bank accounts to use as a security deposit on the loan application.
Together they produced fake letters purporting to be from Bank Julius Baer & Co which tricked the Swiss bank into paying out the huge loan.
The trio claimed the cash would fund the development of a luxury Turkish resort where England striker Wayne Rooney and Brazilian ace Ronaldinho had bought villas.
Former Claims Direct owner Shepherd claimed he was a 'phenomenally successful businessman' but it was all a charade.
With the help of associate Pattinson, and ex-QPR director Steele's false paperwork, Shepherd ‘pretended that he was a phenomenally successful business man enjoying huge personal wealth’.
In passing the sentences, HHJ Wood QC said of Steele, who was a partner at London law firm Mishcon de Reyahas and had previous convictions for dishonesty: “This was a very serious escalation in your criminal activity where you corrupted other people.”
He also said of Shephard: “You derived some pathetic satisfaction from parading yourself as a man of wealth.”
The judge said of Steele, that he was: “Lured into it by the dominating nature of Shephard.”
The Serious Fraud Office investigation started in November 2008.
Charges were brought against all three in June 2009. Shephard and Pattinson pleaded guilty to conspiring to use false instruments and to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. Steele was convicted of the same offences as well as fraud on December 5, 2011.