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Corrupt former HBOS banker jailed for 11 years

Corrupt former HBOS banker jailed for 11 years

Corrupt former HBOS banker Lynden Scourfield has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for bribery and fraud.

Scourfield, branded a 'thoroughly corrupt and devious man' by judge Martin Beddoe, was one of six found guilty for a scam that saw the bank’s parent group lose £245 million. The six have been jailed for a combined 47 years and nine months.

The judge said Scourfield, branded a 'Danny Devito lookalike' by one witness, 'Sold his soul for sex, luxury trips, bling and swag'.

David Mills, one of his partners in the fraud, was jailed for 15 years this afternoon. 

Mark Dobson, who was also a manager at HBOS received 4.5 years, Michael Bancroft and John Cartwright received 10 and 3.5 years respectively. Mills' partner Alison Mills also was jailed for 3.5 years. 

The six were found guilty of bribery and fraud at Southwark Crown Court on Monday.

Scourfield, a former HBOS manager, pleaded guilty to six counts including corruption. He convinced customers to use corporate turnaround firm Quayside Corporate Services in exchange for bribes between 2003 and 2007. Quayside charged hefty fees and many of the businesses ended up going bust.

Quayside was run by Scourfield's friends David and Alison Mills, who were also convicted of bribery, fraud and money laundering.

HBOS, which was taken over by Lloyds TSB for £12 billion in 2008, ended up writing off £245 million from Scourfield's loan book as losses mounted. These costs could rise significantly with the bank yet to compensate any of the victims. 

Dobson, Bancroft and Cartwright were also convicted on Monday while one defendant, Jonathan Cohen was acquitted.

It was said that Bancroft and Mills arranged sex parties and exotic holidays for Scourfield between 2003 and 2007.

Prosecuter Brian O’Neill QC told the court: ‘What Scourfield gave Mills in addition to fees was the opportunity to take control of the various businesses and, in some cases, to acquire ownership of them. Mills and his associates used the bank's customers and the banks' money dishonestly to enrich themselves.’   

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