TPR launches first fraud prosecution

Written by Jack Gray

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has launched its first fraud and employer-related investments prosecution against an accountant.

The accountant, Roger Bessent, is due to appear in court after being accused of abusing his position as the director of the now shut down Gleeson Bessent Trustees Ltd (GBT).

Bessent faces the charges after allegedly transferring more than £200,000 of pension scheme funds into his bank account and those of companies controlled by him.

The funds were transferred from the Focusplay Retirement Benefit Scheme, the sponsoring employer of which was Gleeson Bessent (Accountants and Business Advisers) Ltd, where Bessent was a director.

He faces five counts of fraud by abuse of position and five counts of making employer related investments, which carry maximum prison sentences of 10 years and two years each, respectively.

Prior to the most recent charges, Bessent was banned from running companies for nine years in July 2018 after two pension companies he was a director for, Gleeson Bessent Trustee Services and GBT, were shut down “in the public interest”.

He has been summoned to appear at Preston Magistrates’ Court on 30 January 2019.

TPR was approached but were unable to comment due to the ongoing proceedings of the case.

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