Banks claim victory in NatWest Three case

Jones Day, Travers Smith and White & Case clients Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Royal Bank of Canada have landed a victory in the NatWest Three case, after the former bankers pleaded guilty to fraud.

David Bermingham, Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew entered guilty pleas to a charge of wire fraud in connection with a secret investment with former executives of the Enron Corporation.

As part of a plea agreement with the US government, the defendants have each agreed to a 37-month prison sentence and agreed to repay approximately $7.3m (£3.6m) to RBS, which now owns NatWest. The men had faced up to 35 years in prison if they were convicted on each of the seven counts of fraud that related to the collapse of Enron in 2001.

Assistant attorney general Alice Fisher of the criminal division said that the NatWest Three’s admissions demonstrated that the extent of the fraud at Enron went well beyond US borders.

“These three defendants admitted today that they defrauded NatWest by entering into a secret and illegal deal with officers from Enron – a deal that yielded millions in profits for them personally at the expense of their employer,” said Fisher.

Bermingham, Darby and Mulgrew were represented respectively by name partners Dan Cogdell at Cogdell Law Firm, Matt Hennessy at Deguerin Dickson & Hennessy and Reid Figel at Kellogg Huber Hansen Todd Evans & Figel.

Travers Smith litigation partner Stephen Paget-Brown, along with Jones Day’s US offices, advised RBS. White & Case counsel Bob Bittman from Washington DC acted for Royal Bank of Canada, which was involved in the case because the trio once worked there.