Eight people charged in £35m corruption case

Charges follow long running investigation into offences at Halifax Bank of Scotland branch in Reading

Eight people were charged on Tuesday following a long running investigation into corruption and other offences at the Halifax Bank of Scotland branch in Reading, Berkshire. Two former employees of HBOS – rescued by Lloyds during the 2008 banking crisis – along with six others were charged over business loans worth around £35m.

Lynden Scourfield, 50, and Mark Dobson, 52, who are described as senior managers for HBOS in Reading and Bishopsgate, were charged with conspiracy to corrupt. David Mills, 56, and Michael Bancroft, 69, of Quayside Corporate Services, a turnaround consultancy, were charged as part of the same conspiracy.

Sue Patten, head of fraud at the CPS, said: “Following a thorough fraud and corruption investigation by Thames Valley police, we have today authorised eight people to be charged in connection to business loans made through a high street bank to a value of around £35m.”

Scourfield, Mills and Bancroft are charged with three counts of fraudulent trading and John Cartwright, 68, an associate of QCS, is also charged with one count of fraudulent trading. Scourfield, Mills and Bancroft and their wives, Jacqueline Scourfield, 50, Alison Mills, 47, and Beverley Bancroft, 64, are also charged with one count of money laundering.

All eight will appear at Reading magistrates court on 18 January. None of them was immediately available for comment.

A spokeman for Lloyds Banking Group, which now owns HBOS and its Bank of Scotland subsidiary, said: “We cannot comment on the detail of this investigation by Thames Valley Police or on the charges that have been brought.

“Neither Bank of Scotland nor Lloyds Banking Group is the subject of the investigation. We have been assisting the Police with their investigation and will continue to do so.”

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