Fugitive Jeweler Gets 5 Years in U.K. Insider-Trading Case
(Bloomberg) -- A fugitive luxury jeweler, who eluded police after a judge found him too ill to stand trial, was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison for his role in a U.K. insider-trading scheme.
Richard Baldwin was sentenced by Judge Christopher Hehir, who said the jeweler was convicted on “compelling evidence” of “extremely sophisticated” money laundering, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the Financial Conduct Authority, which prosecuted the case. The charges were part of a wider insider-trading probe, code-named Operation Tabernula, that resulted in the conviction of a Deutsche Bank AG broker.
Baldwin absconded and didn’t enter a plea before he was tried in absentia. A judge dropped him from the wider Tabernula trial in 2015 that ended with convictions of six people, the FCA said. The crimes took place between 2007 and 2008 and the verdict was delivered in 2017, but could only be reported in July after a court restriction was lifted, the FCA said.
Former Deutsche Bank broker Martyn Dodgson and Andrew Hind, an accountant, were jailed for their four-year conspiracy in 2016. Baldwin ran a luxury watch business in London’s tony Marylebone area and helped launder the proceeds of Dodgson and Hind’s insider trading, using off-shore companies, bank accounts and false invoices, the FCA said. It wasn’t possible to contact a representative for Baldwin.
“Money-launderers compound the harm caused by crime by helping to cover up the offense and making it more difficult for victims to get the redress they deserve,” FCA Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight Mark Steward said. “Mr. Baldwin remains a fugitive. However, we will continue to pursue him to ensure he fully accounts for his wrongdoing and serves his sentence.”
Baldwin was sentenced to a longer jail term than Dodgson, who was given a 4 1/2 year sentence. Baldwin’s sentence includes punishment for contempt of court after he breached a June 2011 restraint order, prohibiting him from using his assets, according to the FCA. Within weeks of being notified of the order, Baldwin flew to Geneva twice and withdrew the equivalent of nearly 200,000 pounds ($240,000). The regulator said it would try to confiscate his proceeds in court.
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