Lawyers acting for a north-east financial advisor who masterminded a multi-million pound Ponzi scheme have failed to convince judges to allow another ground to be added to his forthcoming appeal.
Alistair Greig, 67, was jailed for 14 years in April 2020 for carrying out a Ponzi scam that sucked in dozens of individuals to place their funds in “guaranteed” high-interest accounts.
Jurors at the High Court in Edinburgh heard how Greig was using the cash to fund his own lavish lifestyle of top of the range cars and no expense spared trips to see English Premiership matches.
Bid to cut jail term
Greig has instructed lawyers to go to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh to appeal against the jail term. A bid to appeal against his conviction has been dropped.
On Tuesday, Greig’s legal team addressed appeal judges Lord Pentland and Lord Matthews.
They told the judges that financial figures involving Greig’s actions, which had been agreed upon between prosecutors and defence lawyers at his trial, had been wrongly calculated.
The lawyers argued that this should be addressed at his appeal hearing.
However, the judges rejected the submission saying that the matter could not be competently argued during a sentencing appeal.
Greig was earlier unanimously found guilty of obtaining £13,281,671.25 by fraud through his scheme between August 2001 and October 2014.
He pretended to investors he would place money for in a short term deposit scheme with the Royal Bank of Scotland for fixed periods of time.
He was also convicted of breaching financial services and markets legislation and converting and transferring £5.7 million in criminal property. He had denied the offences.
The Crown listed a total of 165 victims of fraud on the indictment brought against Greig.
Greig, formerly of Cairnbulg, in Aberdeenshire, who was latterly residing at London Road, Kirkton, Boston, in Lincolnshire, used the case to fund investments in property, including a holiday home in Cornwall, and a classic car business.
He also treated himself to a high-end Bentley and Range Rover vehicles and spent lavishly on trips to Old Trafford to see Manchester United and to Cheltenham and Ascot for race meetings.
Prosecution lawyer Steven Borthwick told jurors that Greig used the money entrusted to him as “his own personal slush fund”.
Fraud had a ‘devastating impact’ on people
Greig, who has since been made bankrupt in England, told his own clients and advisers that he had access to a high-interest account at RBS because of his connections.
But Mr Borthwick said: “The truth of the matter is Alistair Greig had no special relationship with RBS.”
Passing sentence, Lord Tyre said: “The amount that you helped yourself to in order to fund a lavish lifestyle was also extremely large _ almost £6 million found its way into your own bank accounts.”
The judge said that Greig had operated the fraud over a long period of time.
He said in sentencing the fraudster: “Most of all I take account of the devastating impact that this fraud has had on a very large number of people, whose trust you deliberately and cruelly betrayed.”
“You knew that the money you obtained from these people was earning nothing. You helped yourself to it whenever you felt like it.”
“Right until the end you encouraged friends to deposit funds to maintain the pretence, even when you must have known that they would probably lose everything,” said the judge.
Impact on victims
Lord Tyre said he had read victim impact statements from some of those who lost pensions and life savings.
He added: “The statements reflect the tone of the evidence we heard from people who had been left to face retirement without the cushion of savings that they had expected to enjoy.”
Prosecutors have also launched proceeds of crime action against Mr Grieg. They claim he made more than £21 million during his criminal career.
Judge Lord Braid also heard that prosecutors believe that Greig only has a total of £829,736.87 of funds available at this time which can be seized.
A further procedural hearing to take place in the matter on June 14, 2021.
His sentencing appeal will take place sometime in the near future.