Pensions chief in £52m fraud in £52m fraud

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A PENSIONS boss behind a £52 million fraud has been jailed for eight years.

Graham Pitcher, 52, transferred the cash into two offshore bonds.

It was then used to finance a Hollywood movie, to buy land for development on the Thai island of Koh Samui, and to invest in an Australian online bookmaker.

Pitcher, of Nacton Lane, Great Barton, was manager for GB Noble Trustees and was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud.

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: “I have to recognise that at some stage you may have believed that this scheme would benefit the pensioners.

“But the very fact that you so carefully hid what you were up to from the parent company and the regulating authorities shows that you did not believe it would stand up to any scrutiny.

“You would have been denied access to the world of boats and private planes that your jottings show you dreamed about.

“As breach of trust cases go, this is about as serious as it can get.”

Details of Pitcher’s sentencing last year, can only now be published after two other men were found not guilty at Southwark Crown Court last week.

Another man Quentin Russell, 54 of Haslemere, in Surrey, was jailed for 15 months after admitting two counts of forgery and three of fraud.

The Pension Regulator investigated GB Noble in 2008 and appointed the Independent Trustee Service (ITS) to take over its nine pension schemes.

ITS then recovered £32 million from GP Noble Trustees in a High Court hearing.