Bury St Edmunds: Businessman Graham Pitcher jailed for his involvement in a �52million pension fraud
A SUFFOLK businessman will spend eight years in prison for his involvement in a �52million pension fraud scam.
Graham Pitcher, 51, of Bury St Edmunds, was convicted of ‘conspiracy to defraud in the misuse of pension scheme funds’ managed by GP Noble.
He was sentenced last year but reporting restrictions were in place until yesterday, following the conclusion of the trial of Tony Morris and Peter Malstrom for their alleged involvement. Both were acquitted of all charges following the trial at Southwark Crown Court.
Another defendant, Gary Cordell, the former operations manager of GP Noble, who was tried alongside Pitcher, was acquitted of any criminal involvement.
GP Noble, now in liquidation, was an independent pension trustee company registered in the UK and based in Nottingham.
At the time of the offences, its principal director was Pitcher.
GP Noble administered a large number of occupational pension schemes. Many of the schemes related to companies which had become insolvent or had gone into liquidation.
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Pitcher hid transfers from other GP Noble directors and broke industry rules by failing to inform the pension authorities of the change in investment strategy. He effectively handed over control of the pension funds to entities with no assets or track record.
During the trial, the jury heard evidence that Pitcher received substantial personal benefit for his role in the fraud and expected to receive a further �1 million per year from Multiple and Unilateral Financial Futures Limited, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands.
Serious Fraud Office case manager Jane de Lozey, commenting on Pitcher’s conviction and sentence, said: “Graham Pitcher held a position of enormous responsibility. He abused his position as a guardian of other people’s money and his dishonest actions left pension funds completely unprotected. The lengthy sentence handed down by the court reflects the severity of the fraud perpetrated.”