BGC Partners has identified luxury jewelery and 18 British properties that it claims could have been funded by an alleged $ 35 million fraud perpetrated by two of its UK employees.
The US interdealer broker has accused Michael Viney and Xavier Alcan of funneling cash due to or by British tax authorities in their pockets between 2015 and 2020, according to a London court.
The civil case names Viney’s girlfriend, Hallelujah King, as a third defendant, claiming she could have received some of the proceeds of the alleged fraud in the form of Cartier and Bvlgari jewelery and a £ 1.2 million property. in St Albans.
BGC, whose brokers act as intermediaries between investment banks, disclosed the alleged $ 35 million fraud in February, but did not name the accused employees nor disclose detailed allegations. Howard Lutnick, chief executive of BGC, said at the time that it was “an unfortunate event».
An attorney for Viney and King had no immediate comment.
London High Court clerks said the defenses for Alcan and King did not appear to have been filed yet, and that a defense for Viney was filed this week, but was still pending due to an administrative delay and no it was also available.
Alcan’s legal counsel, Taylor Wessing, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. BGC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The April presentation argues that Viney and Alcan have been suspended.
The lawsuit, brought by BGC Tower Bridge International Services subsidiary, alleges that Alcan, a senior BGC broker, has “encouraged” Viney, a TBIS tax advisor, to facilitate the frauds.
The court found that Viney diverted £ 8.6 million to BGC from the UK tax authority to an account controlled by Alcan after telling HMRC that Alcan was authorized to receive the money on BGC’s behalf.
Viney is accused of misappropriating an additional £ 12.6 million in payments owed to HMRC by BGC to himself and Alcan, even with the use of “doctoral” documents that have replaced bank details for tax authorities with their own. .
The lawsuit also alleges that Viney transferred £ 5 million of TBIS cash into a Handelsbanken account he controlled, falsely represented as a payment to HMRC, before returning it to a BGC account.
These claimed transactions were allegedly conceived to create the impression of a group of borrowers coming from the German bank to finance the 2018 capital contributions from British partners of BGC.
“Actually no such loans had been obtained from Handelsbanken, and the payments were actually financed mainly by fraudulent transfer. [from TBIS]”Says the cause.
Viney later received repayments of the alleged loans for around £ 1.4 million, adding that Viney had repaid the £ 1.4 million after being confronted in November 2020.
BGC claims that Viney has diverted additional funds of nearly £ 2.5 million to some of the company’s partners towards him and Alcan.
The lawsuit alleges that Alcan bought Viney “extravagant items including vacations, electronics and luxury designer jewelry,” and cited alleged WhatsApp conversations about Alcan buying Viney a Canary Wharf apartment and a new Audi car.
The presentation also cites a letter from the alleged attorney describing Alcan’s desire to transfer the properties to Viney for “wealth and property planning” purposes.
BGC claims that Viney admitted the scheme “in general terms” and that Alcan said he believed the money received were legitimate payments to him.
The lawsuit says BGC uncovered the alleged fraud during a November 2020 investigation sparked by unspecified “accounting problems” in relation to the contributions of 2018 UK partners.
The court’s presentation lists a range of properties potentially financed by the alleged fraud, including the St Albans home whose Land Registry records show it belongs to King, and student rental properties in Nottingham, Manchester and Leeds. of Viney.
The lawsuit also alleges that Viney and Alcan destroyed documents. It is said that Alcan, during a December 27 meeting with BGC representatives, canceled several of his texts to Viney after BGC had warned him before the meeting not to cancel any electronic communications.
Alcan was first brought to court in London as a witness in the early 2000s when he was a leader of Cantor Fitzgerald, from which BGC was ousted in 2004.
He caused media outrage in the case between Cantor and rival ICAP when he said going to strip clubs was a common practice for mediators. “On a good night at Spearmint Rhino you can see 80 percent of the market,” he said of the stand in 2002.