Corrupt financiers jailed over £245m HBOS loans scam

A group of financiers who carried out a £245 million loans scam and squandered the profits on high-end escorts and luxury holidays have been jailed.

Consultant David Mills, 60, bribed former HBOS manager Lynden Scourfield, 54, with designer watches, sex parties and "boys' jollies".

Scourfield looked after corporate customers at HBOS's branch in Reading, Berkshire, until 2007, when he resigned.

He received perks from Mills in exchange for agreeing inappropriate loans to struggling firms, which allowed Mills and his associates to profit from high consultancy fees.

Many of the businesses went bankrupt as a result and some of the owners lost their homes.

Scourfield was jailed for 11 years and three months while Mills was given 15 years at Southwark Crown Court.

  • Judge: Scourfield "sold his soul" to Mills

Judge Martin Beddoe said described Mills as "a thoroughly corrupt and devious man, adept at exploiting the weaknesses of others".

Mills is said to have lavished Scourfield with clothes, jewellery, luxury hotel stays, business-class flights and expensive meals at an oyster bar and a cheesecake restaurant.

The judge said the banker had "sold his soul" to Mills in exchange for "sex, for luxury trips ... for bling and for swag".

David Mills (left) is said to have bribed HBOS manager Lynden Scourfield.

Associates played various roles in the fraud

Mills's wife Alison, 51, also played a major role in the corruption and was sentenced to three and a half years.

Michael Bancroft, 73, was jailed for 10 years, Mark Dobson, 56, for four-and-a-half years, and John Cartwright, 72, for three-and-a-half years for their various roles in the fraud between 2003 and 2007.

  • Scam victims: Fraudsters tried to evict us 22 times

Paul and Nikki Turner, from Cambridge, were ignored for years when they tried to report what was going on after their publishing company, Zenith, collapsed as a result of the fraud.

Paul and Nikki Turner were victims of the HBOS scam. Credit: PA

Speaking outside court, Mrs Turner said: "They defrauded us, denied for 10 years that the fraud had happened, ignored the debt from the fraud and tried to evict us 22 times in order to cover up the fraud,

"It's a huge success for us that the trial has gone on."

"The other victims have gone through terrible things, they have gone through the loss of businesses and lost homes.

"Other people lost everything, including marriages broken up, because of this."