The Serious Fraud Office has charged two former solicitors and a former financial adviser in connection with its investigation into the collapse of a scandal-hit legal financing fund.
Timothy Schools, Richard Emmett, and David Kennedy are charged with carrying out a fraudulent scheme to divert money from the Axiom Legal Financing Fund for their own benefit.
Schools, a former solicitor, has been charged with three counts of fraudulent trading, contrary to Section 993(1) of the Companies Act 2006; one count of fraud, contrary to Section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006; and one count of transferring criminal property, contrary to Section 327(1)(d) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Schools was struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in 2014 after it found he failed to act with integrity.
Emmett, a former solicitor who was struck off in 2018, has been charged with one count of fraudulent trading, contrary to Section 993(1) of the Companies Act 2006, and one count of being concerned in an arrangement which facilitates the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by another, contrary to Section 328(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Kennedy, a former independent financial adviser, has been charged with one count of fraudulent trading, contrary to Section 993(1) of the Companies Act 2006.
The case will be listed at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 30 September 2020.
The SFO announced its investigation into the collapse of the Axiom Legal Financing Fund in 2017, after opening a case three years earlier. Axiom Legal Financing Fund was a Cayman Islands fund that had been intended to pay for case disbursements.