Two fraudsters who were part of a criminal business that duped more than 200 individuals into transferring their pension accounts into bogus schemes will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court this Friday.
Alan Barratt and Susan Dalton both acknowledged charges of fraud by abuse of position in breach of section 4 of the Fraud Act 2006 stemming from their duties as trustees of pension schemes following a case initiated by The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
The defendants were part of a criminal operation that convinced 245 members of legal occupational pension schemes to move their pension assets, worth an average of £55,000 and totalling £13.7m, to scam pension schemes controlled by the defendants.
Following the transfer of the savings, the two gave the lion’s portion of the money to mastermind David Austin, who used it to fuel his enterprises, pay others involved in the pension liberation operation, and enrich himself and his family members. Austin, of Guildford, Surrey, was a participant in TPR’s criminal inquiry into the accusations, but he died in 2019 before the investigation was concluded.
TPR brought a civil case against Austin, Barratt, Dalton, and others in the High Court in 2018, and Austin and Barratt were ordered to repay around £7.7m, while Austin and Dalton were ordered to repay around £5.9m. TPR launched a criminal inquiry after the trial ended.