£36m fraudster paid as adviser to Midland jails
ACONVICTED conman who defrauded his victims out of tens of millions of pounds has been working as an adviser at crisis-hit Birmingham Prison.
Michael Brown, one of Britain’s most notorious fraudsters, was also given keys to internal areas while working at HMP Rye Hill in Warwickshire.
The multi-millionaire, who advises on ‘safe and secure prisons’, pretended to be the son of a lord as he conned investors before going on the run for three years.
He has been advising private security firm G4S, which managed HMP Birmingham before the Government stepped in to run the jail two months ago amid ongoing problems with drugs, violence and squalid living conditions.
The 52-year-old is a self-employed consultant who spent a cumulative six days at the prison last September, advising on first-night and reception arrangements, it was claimed.
At Rye Hill, a high-security, category B jail near Rugby, he advised on ‘early days in custody’ as well as staff training on managing and preventing selfharm and suicide.
Brown was given keys at the prison, which is also run by G4S, allowing him to access places of work and communal areas, but not the cells.
He was not given keys at Winson Green’s HMP Birmingham, a category B jail hit by a 12-hour riot in December 2016.
Brown has also worked at a third G4S prison – HMP Oakwood, a category C facility in Featherstone, near Wolverhampton in Staffordshire.
The adviser, who donated £2.4 million of stolen funds to the Lib Dems during the 2005 General Election, has served a seven-and-a-half-year sen- tence for theft and fraud offences. He conned investors including former Manchester United chairman Martin Edwards, who lost £5 million.
Brown is infamous for donating stolen funds to the Lib Dems’ election campaign and using a private jet to fly then leader Charles Kennedy and other bigwigs around the country.
The party said it accepted the money in good faith, having carefully vetted their donor.
The phoney international bonds dealer skipped bail after being convicted in his absence of a £36 million scam, believed to have been the source of his political funding.
He was released in January 2016, halfway through his sentence, but now faces new allegations in Spain. He is believed to style himself as Michael Campbell-Brown and to live in Majorca with his wife at their luxurious £750,000 ‘winter villa’ in Esporles.
Brown could not be contacted comment.
However, Mark Leech, editor of The Prisons Handbook, said: “I have no problem at all with Michael Brown being hired by G4S – we all have our story to tell.
“If his help on early days in custody, which is when inmates are most vulnerable, means that we start to reduce the shocking levels of suicides and self-harm, then I welcome it.
“Everyone is entitled to chance.”
A G4S spokeswoman said: “Michael Brown has worked with us on specific projects as a consultant focusing on early days in custody, particularly around issues of self-harm and suicide, as well as staff training. We are reviewing all the facts in relation to these allegations and whether we continue to use Michael.
“Employing ex-offenders who have served their time gives us a further insight into the prisoners’ experience of prison life.” a for second
> Fraudster Michael Brown worked as an adviser at HMP Birmingham