Man accused of fraud denies wrongdoing

A man accused of two counts of fraud by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has denied swindling investors in a trading scheme, which resulted in alleged losses of almost £2 million.

According to the FCA, Lee Maggs from Sittingbourne, Kent, hid “significant losses” from investors as part of a £2.67 million ($3.33 million) scheme trading on foreign exchange markets.

At his first court hearing in April, Mr Maggs faced charges of running an unauthorised investment programme trading derivatives through the auspices of his company, Kube Trading Ltd, which received around £2.67 million from investors between 1 March 2019 and 22 January 2021.

Mr Maggs has also been charged with a count of breaching the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, having allegedly defrauded investors by misrepresenting how the scheme was operated and over the handling of investor funds.

However, at his hearing at Maidstone Crown Court on 21 May, Mr Maggs pleaded not guilty to fraud by abuse of position and fraud by false representation.

He argued that the entirety of investors’ funds would be placed within a trading account, that the trading scheme would shut down immediately upon a loss of 15 per cent being reached, and that he was able to make immediate repayment to all investors, should that be required.

Mr Maggs has considerable time to refine his argument, as the trial, which is expected to last up to eight weeks, will not get underway until August 3, 2026, due to ongoing pressures on the criminal justice system.

In the interim, the Crown Court judge has ordered a pre-trial review hearing be held on 26 September this year, with a further case management hearing in January next year.

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “If Mr Maggs’ contention that there are sufficient funds to repay investors at least 85 per cent of their investments is true, one might expect that he will be able to demonstrate that they have not suffered any significant loss by the time the case finally comes to trial.

“On the other hand, if the funds are not available, no doubt forensic accountancy evidence will be required to shed light on where they are and how they were used

“In any event, the fact that the trial is not due to start for two years throws into stark relief the dismal state of our civil justice system.  It is difficult to reconcile this timetable with the old adage that ‘Justice delayed is justice denied.”

Sources: BBC News, Kent Online

Posted in The Forensic Blog.