Man jailed for £13m Ponzi scheme ordered to pay back just £814

Alistair Greig used fraudulently obtained funds to preserve a lavish lifestyle of luxury vehicles and trips to high-profile sporting events.

Scots Ponzi scheme kingpin who conned victims out of £13m ordered to pay back just £814 STV News

A businessman who made over £13m from his life of crime has been ordered to hand over £814.35 to prosecutors. 

Alistair Greig, 69, masterminded a money-spinning Ponzi scheme which he used to fund a lavish lifestyle. 

His scam sucked in dozens of individuals to place their funds in “guaranteed” high interest accounts. 

Jurors found that Greig pocketed more than £13m of cash in the scam. 

But Greig used the sums to buy top of the range cars, fancy holiday homes and no expense spared trips to English Premiership matches. 

He was found guilty three years ago and is serving a ten-year prison term.

Prosecutors tried to recover his ill-gotten gains using proceeds of crime legislation.

On Monday, prosecutors and Greig’s legal team agreed that the accused made a total of £13,281,671.25 from criminal activities.

However, both lawyers told judge Lord Braid that Greig only has £814.33 available to seize at this point in time.

Prosecution lawyer Dan Byrne told the High Court in Edinburgh that the Crown will return to court if it discovers any more of Greig’s ill-gotten gains.

Lord Braid then ordered the sum of £814.33 to be handed over to the authorities. 

He said: “I will make an order in that sum to be made available to the sheriff clerk at Airdrie within six months today’s date.”

Greig was unanimously found guilty in 2020 of obtaining £13,281,671.25 by fraud through his scheme between August 2001 and October 2014.

He pretended to investors he would place money for in a short-term deposit scheme with the Royal Bank of Scotland for fixed periods of time.

He was also convicted of breaching financial services and markets legislation and converting and transferring £5.7m in criminal property. 

The Crown listed a total of 165 victims of fraud on the indictment brought against Greig, formerly of Cairnbulg, in Aberdeenshire.

He used his ill-gotten gains to fund investments in property, including a holiday home in Cornwall, and a classic car business.

He also treated himself to a high-end Bentley and Range Rover vehicles and spent lavishly on trips to Old Trafford to see Manchester United and to Cheltenham and Ascot for race meetings.

Prosecution lawyer Steven Borthwick told jurors that Greig used the money entrusted to him as “his own personal slush fund”. 

Greig, who has since been made bankrupt in England, told his own clients and advisers that he had access to a high interest account at RBS because of his connections.

But Mr Borthwick said: “The truth of the matter is Alistair Greig had no special relationship with RBS.”

Passing sentence, Lord Tyre said: “The amount that you helped yourself to in order to fund a lavish lifestyle was also extremely large – almost £6m found its way into your own bank accounts.”

The judge said that Greig had operated the fraud over a long period time.

He said in sentencing the fraudster: “Most of all I take account of the devastating impact that this fraud has had on a very large number of people, whose trust you deliberately and cruelly betrayed.”

“You knew that the money you obtained from these people was earning nothing. You helped yourself to it whenever you felt like it.”

“Right until the end you encouraged friends to deposit funds to maintain the pretence, even when you must have known that they would probably lose everything.”

On Monday, during a short hearing, Greig appeared in the dock wearing a pin striped suit. He sat beside two security officers. 

Mr Byrne told the court about the sums that Greig had made from the scheme.

Defence advocate Ronnie Renucci KC said Greig’s decision to hand over the sum in the case wasn’t an indication that he had accepted his guilt for the offences

He added: “It is not an admission of his guilt. The accused continues to denies his guilt for the offences in this matter.

“There’s a potential appeal process in the background.”

Lord Braid ordered the sum to be paid within six months of Monday’s date. 

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