Investment bankers and hedgies have long had a flare for the excesses in life. There is, of course, the epic tale of the former Jefferies equity salesman who spent $75k on a Miami bachelor party for one of his clients that included a private jet, limos, dwarf-tossing and exotic dancers. Or there is the more recent tale of the 31-year-old portfolio manager for Moore Capital, Brett Barna, who threw a wild “Wolf of Wall Street”-style Hamptons party, complete with Champagne, scores of bikini-clad women and costumed gun-toting midgets, and in the process trashed a $20 million mansion.
But, I-banker excesses aren't reserved for just New Yorkers.
As Bloomberg points out, Ex-HBOS bankers in the UK are currently facing charges related to a $300mm fraud case in which bankers accepted lavish gifts to establish banking relationships. According to prosecution attorney, Brian O’Neill, the gifts "took the form of money transfers, cash, expensive gifts, use of an American Express card for personal spending, unauthorized and inappropriately lavish hospitality, luxurious foreign travel and sexual encounters with high-class escorts.”
The alleged impropriety involved HBOS' lead director of the bank's impaired assets division, Lyndon Scourfield, who had a “corrupt relationship” with turnaround consultant David Mills. According to prosecutors, between 2003 and 2007, Scourfield forced several of his distressed banking clients to hire Mills as a turnaround consultant. Once added to the companies, Mills would argue for incremental debt issuances that resulted in fees to HBOS all the while collecting large payments from his consulting gigs and sharing them with Scourfield and others.
Prosecutors argued that, in all, Mills collected at least 28 million pounds as a result of the fraud which was shared with Scourfield.
David Mills is charged with six allegations of conspiracy to corrupt, fraudulent trading and conspiracy to conceal criminal property while his wife, Alison, faces two counts. Michael Bancroft and John Cartwright, both businessmen used by Mills’s turnaround consultancy are accused of conspiracy to corrupt, fraudulent trading and conspiracy to conceal criminal property. Scourfield’s colleague Mark Dobson and accountant Jonathan Cohen face the same charges.
It's all fun and games until you get caught.