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March 11, 2009

FSA bolsters enforcement unit

by Gill Montia

Story link: FSA bolsters enforcement unit

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has appointed a new Chief Criminal Counsel.

David Kirk will be moving from his current post of Director of the Fraud Prosecution Service, which is a specialist unit of the Crown Prosecution Service.

The regulator says the appointment reflects its strategy of placing greater emphasis on bringing criminal actions for cases of insider dealing and market abuse.

Keith Foggon has also been appointed to bolster the FSA’s enforcement division, as manager of its Digital Evidence Unit.

Mr Foggon was formerly head of the Digital Forensics Unit at the Serious Fraud Office where he developed wide-ranging expertise in this area of work.

The regulator’s enforcement division has 35 criminal specialists including lawyers and investigators whose work has resulted in a case currently being heard at Southwark Crown Court for insider dealing.

The City watchdog has also recently been active in investigating mortgage fraud, working with the City of London Police in connection with a case involving Sussex-based Eastbourne Financial Services.

Earlier this week, eight people were arrested and reports suggest that the alleged fraud could extend to £40 million in value and involve the purchase of 500 properties, between 2005 and 2007.

Cases of mortgage fraud most commonly involve inflating the value of properties for mortgage purposes.

When purchases are made for below the declared value, fraudsters can then pocket the difference between the price paid and the mortgage.

Both organised criminal gangs and individuals have been involved in such activity, which may not come to light until there are repossession proceedings.

 

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