FOIA request concerning HBOS Fraser Mackay's role in the Dobb White/Vavasseur fraud and boiler house scam in 2001/2
Dear Serious Fraud Office,
To: David Green, Director of the SFO
8 November 2017
Dear Serious Fraud Office,
Travesty of Justice where the real protagonist of the missing $200m in the Vavasseur/Dobb White heist, still walks free
I am writing with reference to the SFO Press Release of April 2008 where the SFO reported that "over $200 million of creditors moneys are still missing" and confirmed that the 'largest creditor' was ERYL MANAGEMENT LTD.
Does the SFO realise that ERYL MANAGEMENT LTD was a phoenix company for 'Planaway that was set up by convicted fraudster Shin Gangar solely in his agency capacity working for the ex-Head Auditor and Director of the HBOS PLC Private Banking Unit, Fraser Mackay - whom the SFO most unfortunately had inadvisedly used as a "witness" to the Prosecution counsel at the Birmingham Trial? This has perverted the course of justice for 400 of us and the fraudulent scheme has continued ever since the Trial ended, because of this.
Do the SFO know that Fraser Mackay was in fact, the controlling Fiduciary over all the illegally pooled funds held in ERYL as an umbrella company over all Fraser Mackay's international collecting accounts, which was run from Vavasseur Mark 2 in the IOM?
I wish to alert the SFO in the Public Interest that I submit that Fraser Mackay has seriously deceived the SFO, the Judge and the Jury by pretending to be a victim of 2 of his 35 agents, when all along, he was the 'Mr Big' behind the $200 million funds disappearance, misappropriated through fake bank accounts which Fraser Mackay set up within HBOS with account numbers that did not exist on the HBOS PLC ledger (but he did not disclose this to his many victims). It is wholly unjust that Fraser mackay has not even been arrested yet, nor held on remand, which is what ought to happen if there is any justice left in this world.
Fraser M was purporting to grant "equity release loans" to have the proceeds then used as "show money" (on his own admission and evidence) to mobilise his clients (victims) to purportedly earn dividends between 1-5% a month on a 'best efforts' basis - depending on who they were - (confirmed in his transcripts of 26 & 28 November 2007 when he perverted Justice at the Birmingham Trial). He relied initially on Mr Gangar and Mr White and later on, 33 others, to introduce "high net worth clients for Bank business" in his Bond Underwriting scheme. Mackay exploited the big HBOS PLC name, in full knowledge he was running a shadow bank set up'ultra vires' of the 11 Banking Principles set out on the Treasury website.
He mis-sold the Scheme and mis-led everyone that it was "risk free" because of the Professional indemnity insurance of Dobb White & co., but he knew all along it was HIGH RISK, confirmed in an internal Bank memo that we have in evidence of this fact. He even purported to "invest" some £50k of his own money on 16/3/2002, used as a ruse and decoy to deceive yet more clients AFTER the undercover freezing orders were underway in the Public domain. This was later used by him to pretend he, too, was "deceived" and it became a useful let out to enable him to make out he, too, had lost money: but nothing could be further from the truth, for we now know that Fraser Mackay made many millions through his artful deceptions and protected position. He has lived high on the hog using the proceeds of crime, ever since, engaging in round the world expensive trekking holidays and much more beyond this.
Given that it was Mr Mackay who was the 'face' of the Bank (HBOS PLC) who acted as the sole deposit taker for the missing client funds, through Mackay's cunning set up, it is therefore no surprise that Mr Mackay was drawing kick-backs and secret commissions from his 400 victims through a special commission account that he held at Butterfield Bank in Guernsey - so why wasn't he convicted since he can be shown to have been the main protagonist?
The evidence that we hold suggests that he has deceived the Judge and the Jury and all of the creditors and engaged in a monstrous cover-up these past 17 years. The BBC even went to Mackay's high security flat in Chester in early 2014, but he would not turn up for the cameras, after speaking freely about his wonderful lifestyle and early retirement in 2001.
He had even run his own "Fraser Mackay Funding solutions" company using stolen client moneys to fund projects he was running including deals with fraudster Malcolm West of WEAVERING CAPITAL, done after he left his employ at the Bank in December 2001.
He did this via abusing his position at the HBOS Manchester office where he was a Director of the Private Banking Unit at the time, having worked some 34 years at the Bank: and by setting up CLUB 100 to give his 35 agents incentives and inducements to draw in as much money as possible for "bank business" in the shortest possible time - some $233 million in 18 months according to Paul Cropper, the Official Receiver's report.
Their rewards included membership at les Ambassadeurs in London, centre court tickets at Wimbledon, extravagant social bashes at the Dorchester and stretch limos hired with theatre outings and nightclub membership at Annabels, even chartered a yacht in Monaco for the Cannes Film Festival for several years running using the stolen proceeds of crime (confirmed by Inspector Riley from Leicestershire Constabulary) - taken directly from John Dryburgh's HBOS 'client accounts' within Scott's Private Client Services which Mackay controlled as Dryburgh's business banker.
Above all, millions in cash withdrawals for commissions paid to Mackay's 35 agents to reward their efforts for introductions made, stolen from ATM machines with no paper trail, which were drawn from a Dominican 'bank' Mackay had set up with Shin Gangar, which operated outside of the Banking rules and gave no statements to any of its victims, who were told they had to open up an account there if they wanted to participate in the Bond underwriting scheme which Mr Mackay master-minded under the wing of James Crosby, the HBOS CEO at the material time.
Do the SFO realise that Mr Mackay was receiving kick-backs and acting with a vested interest whilst deceiving his clients they had a 'risk free investment' using fake bank accounts which he set up for them without any signed Mandate of authority ? (as he did with my husband and I).
Please can the SFO therefore re-open this case in the Public interest?
Because there has been a terrible miscarriage of justice because of Fraser Mackay's deceptions - and the money has not been traced because he stole it through the fake bank accounts he set up in his victims names! He did not disclose the many millions commission he made from the proceeds of crime, either, nor the tens of millions he stole from the 'servicing accounts' he set up for 'equity release loans' where no moneys were ever transferred - this is where the SFO now need to look and call Fraser Mackay into the witness box as a defendant not a "witness" as he has misused his position to an unconsciable degree. Fraser Mackay has been illegally protected for 17 years so far.
It is a matter of record that the frauds were happening within HBOS at Board level, and Paul Moore came on the scene around that time and was sacked by James Crosby for doing his job and warning him "the wheels are falling off" with the FCA allowing reckless growth caused by too many credit default swaps and derivatives being transacted with nothing collateralised - see Paul Moore's Whistleblower statement in the Public domain from a few years later.
Regarding the SFO involvement in the actual prosecution of Shin Gangar & Alan White in October 2005 (for conspiracy to defraud and bribing a US official), as you know this resulted in a successful conviction on 22/2/2008 at the Birmingham Crown Court after an 8 month Jury Trial before Justice Langstaff with Counsel James Curtis. But the real protagonist was provably Fraser Mackay and his team at the Manchester office which he ran 'club 100' from to facilitate 'loans' like a financial version of 'sweeney todd'. All the money disappeared without a trace because of the false accounts he used (false instruments).
Mackay further perverted justice by mis-selling the scheme as 'risk free' encouraging victims to rely on Dobb Whites PI insurance - and then he manipulated the FSA to wind up Dobb white on 2 December 2003 resulting in none of the victims being able to claim on the promised "failsafe" - with all the misappropriated client funds by now in America under the control of the DOJ and millions in Mackay's own back pocket from the servicing accounts. We submit that he has lived on the stolen funds ever since.
Whilst Shin Gangar and Alan White were clearly guilty and had been the primary agents of Mr Mackay when the scheme started its 2nd wave in spring 2001 (the first wave being in the mid 1990's run out of Wells Fargo in NY with Merrill Lynch and Terry Dowdell before his conviction on 21 counts of fraud etc), I submit that there has been a miscarriage of Justice because Fraser Mackay appears to have perverted the course of justice and committed fraudulent misrepresentation, Fraud by non-disclosure, and fraud by abuse of position - where all of the creditors money is still missing and has not been traced due to the fake 'bank accounts which Mr Mackay deceived us all with.
He told victims "the scheme is so good I am going to devote an entire mortgage department to it" (and he set up MORTGAGE ADVICE CENTRE with Debbie Faulkner, his star agent), and he offered commissions for any introductions made to him, knowing the scheme would collapse as it was built on sand.
But do the SFO even know these things? I suspect not. I only found out about the 5 bank accounts opened up in our names as all being fraudulently opened and non-existent on the BOS PLC's ledger - discovered purely by accident from ringing the BOS in 2013 when starting revelations began to unfold. The event that triggered this was the arrival of bank statements in our names saying "DR £407,024.19" when we had never even mandated or authorised the account to be opened, let alone have any access to it!
Do the SFO will recall writing and asking various victims / creditors if they had any dealings with SECURED CLEARING CORPORATION ? I recall that the SFO were evidently trying to trace the source and origin of the $500k bribe money used to bribe the US official after November 2001 when moneys were still being accessed AFTER the SEC freezing order over all of Fraser Mackay's illegally pooled client funds had already taken place on 19 November 2001, and the evidence put under Court seal.
Well, it has now come to my attention that The bribe money appears to have been drawn by Fraser Mackay and his cohorts against our family home, without our instruction or authority, utilising the 'Term loan 10 year business facility' offer letter which Mackay had personally drawn up in July 2001 .
His ill-worded 'offer letter' stated that any draw downs must "be held to the Bank's order" (not our order, please note). We did not make any draw down ourselves and we were deceived by him. The Bank confirmed this to us in recent years, and said they have no record of any debt and no record of any solicitors being instructed.
Yet, when we tried to extricate from the scheme some 8 months later in May 2002, Mackay's colleague at the Bank, Derek Wells, strongly dissuaded us and imposed onerous terms to prevent us withdrawing from the Scheme, little did we realise at the time his ulterior motive to cover up that the funds were inaccessible, and he did not disclose to us that his refusal was because all of the funds had been frozen by the SEC months earlier.
Instead, Wells opened up a USD account in our names 09069USD01 without any signed mandate from us and no means of us accessing the said account, and used it to launder only HALF of the missing family moneys which we had asked to withdraw since May 2002. So when only half the money came back through that USD account, we did not even know about this until some 5 years later when I rang HBOS Archive unit and asked for a print-out of the USD account, before giving evidence at the SFO Trial in Birmingham in or around October 2007.
This resulted in a print out being provided to us, which is how I've come to realise that not only did the origin of the funds routed through that unauthorised account originate from SECURED CLEARING CORPORATION (which we'd never had dealings with previously), but only half of the sum being withdrawn actually bounced through that account.
The missing 'half' was the $500k from the £347k 'facility' Mackay had purportedly set up in our names - and a memo to Shin Gangar from me around that time, confirms a phone conversation he had with me to say "the Bank say they can't return the Term loan funds at this time" before he persuaded us to remain in the Scheme after pulling out the stops (and we did not suspect the huge fraud that was well underway by now, either).
Therefore, it would be appreciated if the SFO can provide disclosure regarding the following critical issues:-
1. Given we have had an unlawful 'possession order' put against our family home without any disclosure of a debt nor any due process of Law on 1/7/2015 by a corrupt judge Martin Alan Gordon Dancey in the Bournemouth County Court, please can the SFO therefore run checks on that USD account to trace where the funds were routed to? We certainly believe this 'debt' was incurred by Fraser Mackay paying the $500k bribe to the US official.
It is obviously wholly unjust that we are being asked to pay for a debt we did not incur.
Not only this, we have been vexatiously hounded and harassed and relentlessly pursued by Fraser Mackay's direct shadow-banking AGENTS - namely, solicitors Tim Pyle and lattterly Richard Pitt of Eversheds with his perjurious barrister Paul Mitchell from Hailsham chambers, for nearly 10 years now through HMCTS, with a total abuse of the court process, ruining our lives in the process and turning them upside down for ourselves and our family members - with having to cope with the highly corrosive impact of that for 10 long years of unmitigated hell.
They have done exactly the same to my sister, Rosie, and we hold incontrovertible evidence that the stole her cottage in Suffolk in July 2002 through a falsified sale and a fraudulent 'solicitors undertaking' with no named solicitor on it! They did this after switching around two delinquent 'loan offers' and invalidly transacting the matter and then purporting to "redeem" the non-existent 'loan', without any legal mortgage in existence (same with ourselves) ! - we have proof that $546,000 ended up being laundered via a USD account to a drug-cartel bank in Mexico called BANAMEX which Mackay utilised amidst 27 other banks as well, in his carousel fraud. The "bank" stole this money - i.e. they have never accounted for this money. They have stolen millions from ourselves and our family in this way over the past years, and appear to be a key part of an internationally-operated Crime gang.
2. Did Fraser Mackay in fact turn the Queen's evidence when he gave himself up to the SFO on 9 august 2002 after the FBI had shut down the ODBT/IBT Dominican 'bank' he had been relying upon to facilitate and fund his victims withdrawals to pay him 'interest' on the phantom 'loans' he had not even granted to them? (through the fake accounts he set up in their names?) It appears that Fraser Mackay amassed and misappropriated tens of millions of pounds this way - all with no footprint as they were run off ledger.
3. Do the SFO realise that Fraser Mackay was using the big HBOS PLC name but was running a 'shadow bank' run as an inside track within the HBOS PLC infrastructure and with no footprint due to the accounts he used being fake with fraudulent account numbers and false sort codes?
Does the SFO concur that this is serious fraud and a conspiracy to defraud innocent bank clients?
4. Did the SFO ever in fact, realise that Fraser Mackay was mis-selling the scheme and getting large commissions on the back of 'introductions' made to him by Mr Gangar and John Dryburgh, and multiple other agents from St James' Place (IFA's), and that Mackay was illegally pooling client funds in various offshore collecting accounts whereby all access was removed from his victims and whereby he committed an indictable offence according to the Client Asset Security rules 7.5 of the Financial Services Markets Act 2000?
5. Do the SFO realise that all of the millions stolen from the 'no-footprint' servicing accounts set up by Mackay have never been traced because the crimes and heist were carefully organised by mackay and his 35 footsoldier 'agents'?
6. Do the SFO realise that the 'Watchdog' committee was only set up by HBOS ceo James Crosby in January 2003 after there were hefty fines to the BOS for money laundering from the FSA, and that after this event Mr Crosby began successfully pulling strings inside the FSA creating a 'capture regulation' scenario where no further fines hit HBOS despite the shocking damage they caused to hundreds of victims with the organised thefts of Mackay and his agents?
7. Finally, are the SFO aware that Shin Gangar did not disclose any of the above because Fraser Mackay did a deal with him and paid off all of the loans to Mr Gangar's family members which he'd granted to them to keep Mr Gangar from 'blowing the whistle on the above', using the £50m of so transferred over from Fortis Bank in Belgium just before the FBI got there to shut down that "bank" - which resulted in its owner, Malcolm West, being sent to jail soon after?
After all, Fraser Mackay gave himself up to the SFO but told many lies to cover his back, after the FBI shut down the Dominican "bank" which Mackay had relied so heavily on to keep stealing the 'loan interest' from the fake 'servicing accounts' he had set up in his victims names?
Isn't it surprising that the HBOS fraud has managed to continue for these past 16 years since it began, and to out-last the conviction of Gangar and White in 2008 and again in February 2016 because they failed to pay up the £2million confiscation order - which is only 1% of the amount of money misappropriated and stolen by Fraser Mackay?
By his own admission, the official receiver Geoff Carton Kelly of Baker Tilly, admitted being "pushed on to the back foot" when he rang me in May 2007 and admitted he had no forensic audit trail provided, and was persuaded to enter into a 'cooperation agreement' with roy Terry from USA at that time putting only £10m of the missing £200m in Clyde Bank in London? Thus, Baker tilly's "re-structuring" company took several million pounds in admin fees, leaving the creditors only a few million to be paid between them in the "re-structured" unfair set up, whilst Mackay made off with the bulk of the money of some $185 million - being British Money that was illegally repatriated to America because of the FSA incompetence - and all along the FSA knew or ought to have known that they had NO JURISDICTION to have repatriated British money on to American soil because Fraser Mackay's scheme was not regulated and created unregistered debt.
Last month on 2nd October, my husband and I were fraudulently bankrupted by Fraser Mackay/HBOS' clone's 'HIT SQUAD at Eversheds LLP Cardiff office, who have not shown us a shred of evidence of a debt and have issued their own 'bankruptcy' from their own office - it did not come via HMCTS - and they have got away with turning our lives upside down for 10 years so far, with Mackay's dishonest legacy living on long after Gangar and White's convictions: which proves these convictions were far from adequate to address all of the underlying issues resulting in creditors moneys' disappearance. Please, therefore, can the SFO intervene and arrest Richard Pitt of Eversheds and Paul Mitchell and Nicola Campbell clause at Hailsham Chambers who have given him dishonest and willing assistance to commit these dishonest and abhorrent acts against us?
How can we be debtors of the same bank where we are creditors since 2001?
Will Justice ever be served on this case?
Your urgent attention to this in the Public interest and in the Cause of natural justice, would be appreciated. Please will the SFO urgently intervene and explain to the Insolvency Service that we are victims and Claimants against BOS and not 'defendants' or debtors ?
Please can the SFO take careful note that even the High Court has certain judges who have been manipulating events and falsifying 'orders' which bear no court seal (unless these have been created in tort by barrister Paul Mitchell?) in order to continue the conspiracy to shut us down and steal our homes using false paperwork? There are at least 3 judges (Dame Justice whipple, Court 37, HHJ Haddon-Cave court 37, Master Davison Queen's Bench) who are implicated in plucking a fake High court 'claim number' from thin air and using it to purport there is a claim from the Bank of Scotland against US when it is the other way round - after Eversheds successfully derailed our own claim against HBOS PLC issued as a protective writ in December 2008, served in 2009 and yet it has never been allowed any disclosure of hearing and the Bank has never issued any defence! Paul Mitchell has manipulated events to purportedly turn us from being "claimants" to being alleged "defendants" using fraudulent means.
The new 'case number' introduced only in the past month of October 2017, has never had any claim or particulars served on either my sister or I, and yet the RCJ Queen's Bench , driven by Eversheds gross dishonesty, are trying to steal my sister's house on 28 November 2017 this very month on 100% false papers, with no legal mortgage contract or proof of debt in existence - which the "bank" even admit they do not have! Is this not a horrendous abuse of power? No doubt they will against attempt to go after my husband and I next, based on the fake 'bankruptcy orders' which rely on a 'judgment debt' which we can prove has never been issued by the court and bears no court seal. Why can't we be allowed restitution and to live our lives and approach our retirement in peace?
The cluster court in Norwich have also confirmed there is NO records on their system of any such case number "3PB03079" for Rosie - proving she, too, like ourselves, has been deceived through HMCTS being utilised as a money-laundering vehicle for criminal activity to try to launder stolen moneys from a shadow banking fraternity.
Please also explain to both HMCTS and the Insolvency Service that I was a vital witness at the SFO criminal trial and that the frauds have continued for all these years long after Shin Gangar and Alan white were imprisoned and punished for their part in Mackay's heist.
I can provide all of the necessary supporting evidence -
Dear Ms Watson,
Thank you for your email of 8 November 2017 concerning allegations into HBOS and Fraser MacKay.
As you may be aware, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) provides the public with a general right of access to information held by public authorities. However, an FOI request must describe recorded information that a Public Authority might hold. The FOIA does not extend to requests that require the Public Authority to create new information or give an opinion or judgment that is not already recorded.
Having reviewed your request, we are unable to treat it as a request for information under the FOIA. This is because it asks us to comment upon your allegations into alleged criminal activity by HBOS and Fraser Mackay. Further information on the operation of FOIA, including details on how to make a request can be found on the ICO website at https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici....
If you feel your allegations can form a basis for a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation then please report this via our online reporting form. This can be found at www.sfo.gov.uk/contact-us/reporting-seri....
I hope this information is useful.
16 Dec 2017
Dear Information Officer,
Specific itemised FOIA disclosure required regarding certain items concerning ex-HBOS PLC Head Auditor & Director of the HBOS PLC's Private Banking Unit, Fraser Mackay
Thank you for your reply. In fact, to clarify the specifics of what I want under the FOIA, there are specified documents listed below that I would like to see under the FOIA which I am aware from the SFO criminal Trial transcripts that the SFO hold,and these are as follows:-
1. Fraser Mackay's statement which he prepared and/or submitted to the Crown Jury Trial when he gave evidence on 26 & 28 Nov 2007. And any other statements submitted by Fraser Mackay since 2001 in connection with the Vavasseur/Dobb White frauds.
2. Fraser Mackay's statement when he gave himself up to the SFO on 9 august 2002 but managed to turn the queen's evidence, after he'd been stealing money from the ponzi scheme via fake bank accounts he had set up (which he did not disclose to the Jury nor the SFO, it appears).
3. Details and the account number and sort code of Fraser Mackay's commission account at Butterfield Bank, Guernsey, where he was collecting kick-backs and commissions from the tens of millions of pounds of funds that he steered there.
4. The name of the account signatory for the HSBC Bank PLC London, SWIFT: MIDLGB22,
sort code: 40-05-15, Account no: 26495
under the bizarre account name of "Bank of Butterfield Intl Guernsey Limited "Cotswold Trading Co. Ltd"
It was this account which linked to the Butterfield Bank account used by Fraser Mackay, where it turns out he was receiving kick backs with his own commission payments deposited in it ($214,050 when it was frozen by the SEC in Nov 2001)
5. Details of what was done with the $214,050 retrieved by the SEC freezing order from Fraser Mackay's undisclosed kickbacks account?
6. Has a full forensic enquiry been done to check how many millions of pounds were laundered through Fraser Mackay's Butterfield Bank 'kickbacks' account? If so, please provide disclosure of the bank statements. If not, please explain why not. Because this account was evidently used by Fraser Mackay to misappropriate tens of millions of pounds which he extorted from his victims (including nearly £101,000 from my husband and I) through the 'servicing accounts' which it turns out he used fake numbers and false sort codes to set them up without any signed mandate from his victims.
7. Details and proof of the FSA 'worldwide Mareva injunction' which was allegedly applied over all client funds in late 2002?
I look forward to your comprehensive and detailed response.
Dear Ms Watson,
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.
We aim to reply to all correspondence within 20 working days. If a delay is likely, we will contact you.
Dear Ms Watson,
Thank you for your email of 16 December 2017, in which you requested
information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). Your request
“In fact, to clarify the specifics of what I want under the FOIA, there
are specified documents listed below that I would like to see under the
FOIA which I am aware from the SFO criminal Trial transcripts that the
SFO hold,and these are as follows:-
1. Fraser Mackay's statement which he prepared and/or submitted to the
Crown Jury Trial when he gave evidence on 26 & 28 Nov 2007. And any other
statements submitted by Fraser Mackay since 2001 in connection with the
Vavasseur/Dobb White frauds.
2. Fraser Mackay's statement when he gave himself up to the SFO on 9
august 2002 but managed to turn the queen's evidence, after he'd been
stealing money from the ponzi scheme via fake bank accounts he had set up
(which he did not disclose to the Jury nor the SFO, it appears).
3. Details and the account number and sort code of Fraser Mackay's
commission account at Butterfield Bank, Guernsey, where he was collecting
kick-backs and commissions from the tens of millions of pounds of funds
that he steered there.
4. The name of the account signatory for the HSBC Bank PLC London, SWIFT:
MIDLGB22, sort code: 40-05-15, Account no: 26495 under the bizarre account
name of "Bank of Butterfield Intl Guernsey Limited "Cotswold Trading Co.
It was this account which linked to the Butterfield Bank account used by
Fraser Mackay, where it turns out he was receiving kick backs with his own
commission payments deposited in it ($214,050 when it was frozen by the
SEC in Nov 2001)
5. Details of what was done with the $214,050 retrieved by the SEC
freezing order from Fraser Mackay's undisclosed kickbacks account?
6. Has a full forensic enquiry been done to check how many millions of
pounds were laundered through Fraser Mackay's Butterfield Bank 'kickbacks'
account? If so, please provide disclosure of the bank statements. If
not, please explain why not. Because this account was evidently used by
Fraser Mackay to misappropriate tens of millions of pounds which he
extorted from his victims (including nearly £101,000 from my husband and
I) through the 'servicing accounts' which it turns out he used fake
numbers and false sort codes to set them up without any signed mandate
from his victims.
7. Details and proof of the FSA 'worldwide Mareva injunction' which was
allegedly applied over all client funds in late 2002?”
With regard to your items 1 to 4, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) neither
confirms nor denies whether it holds information falling within the
description specified in your request. The duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the
FOIA does not apply, by virtue of sections 30(3) and 31(3) of that Act.
Nothing in my reply should be taken as an indication that the information
you requested is or is not held by the SFO.
Section 30 (3) provides that:
The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to information
which is (or if it were held by the public authority would be) exempt
information by virtue of subsection (1) or (2).
Section 30 (1) provides that:
(1) Information held by a public authority is exempt information if it has
at any time been held by the authority for the purposes of—
(a)any investigation which the public authority has a duty to conduct with
a view to it being ascertained—
(i)whether a person should be charged with an offence, or
(ii)whether a person charged with an offence is guilty of it,
(b)any investigation which is conducted by the authority and in the
circumstances may lead to a decision by the authority to institute
criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct, or
(c)any criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct.
Section 31(3) provides that:
The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that
compliance with section 1(1)(a) would or would be likely to, prejudice any
of the matters mentioned in subsection (1).
Section 31(1)(a)-(c) provides that:
Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice—
(a) the prevention or detection of crime,
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,
(c) the administration of justice.
How the exemptions are engaged
The requested information would, if held, be held for the purpose of an
Section 31 deals with law enforcement in general and is applicable to the
extent that section 30 is not. To confirm or deny that we hold the
requested information would likely prejudice the matters set out in 31 (a)
to (b). This is because such information, if held, would be relating to an
ongoing or previous investigation.
The public interest test
Sections 30(3) and 31(3) are qualified exemptions and require
consideration of whether, in all the circumstances of the case, the public
interest in maintaining the exclusion of the duty to confirm or deny
outweighs the public interest in disclosing whether the public authority
holds the information. More information about exemptions in general and
the public interest test is available on the ICO’s website at
It is recognised that there is a general public interest in publicising
the work of the SFO, so that the public knows that serous fraud, bribery
and corruption are being investigated and prosecuted effectively and so
that the public can be reassured about the general conduct of our
organisation and how public money is spent.
The SFO takes steps to meet this interest by publishing casework
information on its website where appropriate.
However, it is also recognised that it is in the public interest to
safeguard the investigatory process and that investigating bodies should
be afforded the space to determine the course of an investigation. On some
occasions, releasing information about what is held or not held by law
enforcement bodies would be detrimental to that process. To confirm or
deny whether the information you have requested is held would, for reasons
outlined earlier, be likely to prejudice the SFO’s conduct of an ongoing
criminal investigation/ability to tackle and prevent serious crime. This
would not be in the public interest and the right of access to information
should not undermine the investigation and prosecution of criminal
Having considered the opposing arguments, I am of the view that the
benefits of confirming whether or not the information is held are
outweighed by the disbenefits and thus the public interest favours
maintaining the exclusion of the duty to confirm or deny whether
information is held.
In respect of your items 5, 6 and 7 we are unable to treat it as a request
for information under the FOIA. This is because it asks us to comment upon
your allegations. The FOIA does not extend to requests that require the
Public Authority to create new information or give an opinion or judgment
that is not already recorded.
It may be that correspondence directly with the Securities and Exchange
Commission and Financial Conduct Authority will assist with your queries
around your items 5 and 7.
I hope this information is helpful. If you are not content with my reply,
you may ask for a review. You must do this by writing to me within two
months of the date of this email. It would help us with the review if you
could tell us which aspects of my reply concern you and why you are
dissatisfied. Please quote reference FOI 2017-146 in any future
If you are not content with the outcome of an internal review, you may
apply direct to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The
Information Commissioner will not usually consider a case unless you have
exhausted the internal review procedure. Her address is The Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9