Ex-Balli Steel CEO jailed in London for trade financing fraud

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"><head><title>UPDATE 1-Ex-Balli Steel CEO jailed in London for trade financing fraud</title></head><body>

Adds details of charges, judges quotes

By Sam Tobin

LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) -The former CEO of a collapsed British steel trader was sentenced to six and a half years in jail by a London court on Tuesday for his part in a "widespread and systematic" trade financing fraud.

Nasser Alaghband, who was the chief executive of London-based commodities trader Balli Steel, had pleaded guilty to one count of fraudulent trading before the trial.

Prosecutors said Alaghband, 62, helped obtain trade financing for Balli Steel, which involved telling "increasingly egregious lies" to banks as the company's financial position deteriorated in 2012 and 2013.

Prosecutor Jane Bewsey said on Monday that five lenders lost a total of approximately $150 million as a result of the fraud.

Balli Steel collapsed in early 2013 with a shortfall of 315 million pounds ($394 million) between what it owed to creditors and assets which could be realised, prosecutors said on Monday.

Sentencing Alaghband at London's Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday, Judge Michael Hopmeier said he had played a leading role in the "substantial, sophisticated and lengthy fraud".

Melis Erda, the former treasurer of Balli Steel's parent Balli Group who was described by prosecutors as Alaghband's effective "second-in-command" for obtaining trade financing, was found guilty of six counts of fraud in February after a five-month trial. She had denied the charges.

Louise Worsell, managing director of Balli Steel's Middle East subsidiary who prosecutors said was "actively involved in the dishonesty" to obtain trade financing, was also convicted in February of four counts of conspiracy to defraud. She had denied the charges.

Erda, 56, was sentenced on Tuesday to 46 months in jail. Worsell, 68, was sentenced to 38 months in jail.

Judge Hopmeier told the defendants during the sentencing that defrauding banks causes "real damage – not merely to the bank, but to ordinary men and women who hold their savings in the bank".

Reporting by Sam Tobin; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel


Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.

All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.

Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Read more or change your cookie settings.

Risk Warning: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone. Please consider our Risk Disclosure.