As most factoring insiders will know First Capital Factors Ltd collapsed into Administration two years ago and whilst plenty of rumours were doing the rounds at the time nothing concrete ever appeared until last week.
First Capital Factors Ltd was a small factoring company run by the high profile David Marsden and was funded by means of a back to back arrangement with Leumi ABL Ltd plus loans from Thincats.
According to the press release issued by the Insolvency Service, Marsden colluded with the factoring company’s clients to raise false invoices and he then used these invoices to fraudulently raise £4.3m from Leumi ABL Ltd
Although one has a certain amount of sympathy for Leumi ABL for being defrauded they should possibly have spotted the signs earlier but my sympathies lie with the individuals in the Thincats syndicate who won’t see any of their collective millions back.
These weren’t all high net worth individuals who could afford to lose money but people like you and I looking for a slightly higher return on their savings than the miserly rates offered by the banks.
Whilst these individuals may have been aware that some companies perform better than others I doubt whether any of the individuals expected to be defrauded out of their savings by such a supposedly well respected person within the factoring industry who included the past chairmanship of the Asset Based Finance Association on his illustrious CV
If a year’s bankruptcy (now expired) and a ten year ban from holding a directorship is the sum total of Marsden’s punishment then he has got away lightly as forty years ago a similar thing happened at Bank of America’s factoring company and the two executive directors who orchestrated a remarkably similar fraud both ended up in prison for three and four years as well as the bosses of the companies that had participated in what the media called “The great loans swindle”
There must be more to come from this debacle as there was collusion from various clients who have also committed fraud and surely the staff at First Capital Factors must have had verification procedures in place for what I guess must have been substantial invoices.
In addition every factoring company that I have worked at have had monthly board and/or management meetings which have included detailed discussions on the client portfolio so I guess that this story has not reached it’s conclusion yet and there must be more people who jump every time the front door bell rings.
The full story is available here