On 13 July 2017, Richard Baldwin was convicted of dealing in criminal property between October 2007 and November 2008. The criminal property laundered was £1.5 million representing the proceeds of a conspiracy to insider deal by Martyn Dodgson and Andrew Hind. Mr Baldwin used off-shore companies, bank accounts and false invoices to effect his money laundering.
The Financial Conduct Authority also brought contempt of court proceedings against him in relation to the breach of a Restraint Order made in June 2011. The Restraint Order prevented him from in any way disposing of, dealing with or diminishing the value of any of his assets within or outside of England & Wales. He admitted his contempt on 13 November 2015.
Until today reporting restrictions have been in place which has prevented the FCA from publicising Mr Baldwin’s conviction. Mr Baldwin was tried in his absence because during the proceedings he absconded from justice. An arrest warrant along with a European Arrest Warrant have been issued for his arrest for him to be brought before the Court for sentencing.
Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, said,
‘Combatting money laundering is a priority for the FCA. This was a complex investigation involving the tracing of funds through layers of international banking transactions by off-shore companies. The FCA will not tolerate criminals who facilitate others to abuse our markets. This case demonstrates our determination to pursue not only those who commit insider dealing but those who are prepared to launder the ill-gotten gains from abusing our market. The case also sends a clear message that the FCA is determined to deprive criminals of the proceeds of crime. We are robust in monitoring Restraint Orders and will take action if breaches occur.’
Sentencing for the money laundering and punishment for the Contempt of Court will take place on 3 September 2019. Confiscation proceedings will also be pursued.
This investigation was conducted in partnership with the National Crime Agency.
Mr Baldwin remains at large. If you have information about his whereabouts please report it to your local police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
The guilty defendant
Richard Baldwin (3 December 1966) – a businessman, involved in the luxury watch business with Andrew Hind.
Overview of the facts
On 9 May 2016, Martyn Dodgson and Andrew Hind were convicted of conspiracy to insider deal between November 2006 and March 2010. Dodgson and Hind agreed to deal secretly, sometimes on the basis of inside information. Dodgson sourced inside information from within the investment banks at which he worked and passed on this inside information to Hind who acted as a ‘middle man’. Hind then effected secret dealing for the benefit of Dodgson and himself.
Baldwin was a business partner of Hind; the two men ran a luxury watch business from offices in Marylebone. Baldwin knew Dodgson through Hind.
In order to keep their involvement in dealing secret, Dodgson and Hind avoided receiving their profits direct from the traders who traded on their behalf.
To receive some of the proceeds from the conspiracy, Baldwin set up a company in Panama and opened a company bank account in Zurich. In October 2007 Baldwin received £1.5 million into the company account in Zurich and explained the receipt of the monies by providing a false invoice to his bankers. The £1.5 million represented profit from insider dealing in Scottish & Newcastle plc. Having received the money, Baldwin, over the course of the next year or so, dissipated the vast amount of the £1.5 million through the use of his other Panamanian companies and off-shore accounts. Those off-shore companies acted as buffers, which had the effect of concealing the true source of the funds.
Following the search of Baldwin and Hind’s business premises by the FCA in March 2010, Baldwin closed the account of the Panamanian company that received the £1.5 million and of the two other Panamanian companies through which he had moved the bulk of the money.
Contempt of Court
In June 2011, Baldwin was notified of the Restraint Order. Within a fortnight he had flown twice to Geneva and withdrawn the sterling equivalent of £114,000 in cash and liquidated assets worth more than £82,500. Over the next six months Baldwin accessed safety deposit boxes in Switzerland and England and dealt with the assets contained therein. Over the next two years Baldwin failed to repatriate assets to the UK and disposed of those assets and he dealt with undisclosed income.
The Operation Tabernula investigation
Operation Tabernula is one of the FCA’s largest and most complex insider dealing investigations. The offending in this case was highly sophisticated and took place over several years. The investigation was demanding and time-consuming. Investigators, forensic accountants, lawyers, markets experts, intelligence analysts and digital forensic specialists pooled their skills to unravel the conspiracy and subsequent laundering by Baldwin. This was achieved through painstaking analysis of trading, financial and communications data, documentary evidence from the investment banks, and the material seized during searches under warrant. Surveillance was also deployed.
This conviction – alongside those of Martyn Dodgson, Andrew Hind, Paul Milsom, Graeme Shelley and Julian Rifat – brings to six the number of convictions secured in the Operation Tabernula insider dealing investigation.