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Three city workers sentenced in a $8.45m hedge and wealth fund fraud
  • Feb 22, 2023
  • Latest News

Three fund managers have been sentenced today (20 February 2023) for a large-scale fraud which amounted to losses of $8.45 million which were meant for the people of Libya at Southwark Crown Court.

Frederic Marino, 56, was found guilty of fraud by abuse of position of trust and sentenced to 7 years and six months imprisonment. Yoshika Ohmura, 47, was also found guilty of fraud by abuse of position of trust and sentenced to 3 years and six months. Aurelien Bessot, 47, guilty to fraud by abuse of position of trust and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment suspended for two years .

The CPS team and National Crime Agency investigation proved these three defendants worked together to defraud a hedge fund and sovereign wealth fund which belonged to the Libyan people.

Frederic Marino and Aurelien Bessot established a company called FMCP, which was responsible for investing the funds of a sovereign wealth fund established by the Libyan government. Instead of optimising the investments, Marino and Bessot, with the help of Yoshiki Ohmura, placed investments so as to maximise their own rewards, to the detriment of the fund. The direct losses to the fund are approximately $8.45 million.

The Libyan Investment Authority was established in 2006 by the Libyan government to manage the Libyan Sovereign Wealth Fund in order to protect and develop the value of Libya’s oil revenue reserves and to diversify the sources of national income away from oil.

Marino went on to set up a hedge fund operation in London where in partnership with Bessot he was collecting undeclared finder fees for variety investments made on behalf of the Libyan wealth fund. The money from these fraudulent actions was laundered through a series of shell companies set up by these two defendants. They were supported in these criminal activities by Ohmura in the laundering of these funds.

Andrew West of the CPS said: “These three fraudsters were calculating and opportunistic in committing offences that left the people of Libya out of pocket by approximately $8.45 million for purely selfish and greedy purposes to fund their lavish lifestyles.

“They showed a complete disregard for the important position they held to make investments work for their clients who were looking to diversify away from solely oil revenues.

“We would like to thank the hard work and dedication of the National Crime Agency in their diligent and determined investigation.”

The CPS is committed to working with criminal justice partners to combat large-scale financial fraud.