Solicitor gets two years for fraud
A DISGRACED Merseyside solicitor has been jailed for two years for his involvement in a £1.5 million “advance f ee” fraud. David Sasson made £250,000 from the fraud, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
Sasson had been struck-off after admitting stealing from his employers.
His father-in-law got him a job with Carl Montlake and his business part- ner in 1993, working as an underwriter. Based in Bury New Road, Manchester, Alliance International Ventures was set up in 1997 and, according to prosecutor Jonathan Turner QC, was “a fraud from the outset”.
He added: “Its business was ostensibly to offer funding to foreign applicants looking to raise finance for business projects abroad.
“The truth is, and always was, that Alliance had no money at all. Notwithstanding their total lack of funds, Alli- ance began to offer overseas customers sums of anything between $500,000 and $120,000,000.”
Barely a page of the “authentic-looking” paperwork recovered by police had not emanated from Sasson, nor been addressed to him. “To many of the applicants, it is clear that Sasson was Alliance.”
The fraud involved getting applicants to pay a £495 administration fee and appraisal fees of up to £7,000. They also had to pay the appraiser’s expenses, including first-class tickets, expensive hotels and entertainment.
“Whatever the appraiser said about the project, Alliance was always going to extract the fees and then fail to provide a penny,” Mr Turner said.
Inquiries relating to one-third of applicants found that Alliance had offered to lend $1.5bn over a five-year period.
Sasson, 47, of Childwall Crescent, Childwall, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud. Montlake, 46, of Spring Vale, Manchester, was convicted earlier this year and jailed for six years.
Sasson’s barrister, David Turner QC, said that the others had made sure he was “the fall guy”.
Judge Gerald Clifton told Sasson that the business had been bogus from the outset. Victims had included communities looking to build a hospital and sporting facilities.
But although Sasson had not been a small cog, he had been under the control of Montlake.