Lawyer's claims of naivety rejected

A sole practitioner who played a part in an £8m fraud has been thrown out of the profession.

The solicitors' disciplinary tribunal heard how Alan Dixon got involved in the fraud when he was approached in 1992 by a woman, described as “Mrs C”, who asked him to take part in an investment scheme devised at the request of the US government to provide funds to the Russian government.

The Cambridge-based solicitor drew up documents encouraging investors to put money into the trading of “mysterious” bank documents, referred to as Prime Bank Investments and Prime Bank Notes. Investors were told trading would be carried out through various bank accounts and they could make millions of pounds with no risk to their capital. They were drawn into an £8m fraud from which only a few have recovered their money. Dixon pleaded naivety rather than complicity and said his actions had been in the realms of negligence.

The tribunal rejected this claim and said it took the view that Dixon had “misappropriated moneys for the benefit of third parties and that in paying for his own costs and expenses he did misappropriate moneys for himself”.