White-Collar Crime

Ex-Mishcon Partner on Trial for His Alleged Role in Helping Perpetrate $28M Fraud on Swiss Bank

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A former partner at a well-known British law firm is on trial in Southwark Crown Court, accused of helping two men defraud a Swiss bank of some $28 million.

Solicitor Kevin Steele, 51, says he did nothing wrong, the Telegraph reports.

The former Mishcon de Reya partner is accused of signing documents that helped persuade EFG Private Bank to make an approximately $28 million loan to Michael Shepherd, 50.

Shepherd and Mark Pattinson, 37, have already pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit fraud. Pattinson prepared fake documents that helped persuade the Zurich-based bank that Shepherd was worth triple the amount of the loan.

Steele faces the same charge, plus another charge of abusing his position at the law firm. It relates in part to an alleged theft of about $2.8 million (1.8 million in British pounds) from Shepherd’s client account, Legal Week (sub. req.) reported last year.

An earlier article in the Telegraph provides additional details. Steele was expelled from the law firm’s partnership in 2008.

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