020 7246 6560 / info@hughmans.co.uk

Operation Cotton: FCA fail to secure fraud convictions across the board

19th June 2015

The extraordinary saga of Operation Cotton – the first prosecution by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – came to an end with the failure of the FCA to secure convictions across the board against all defendants.

The FCA prosecuted 8 defendants for offences relating to the fraudulent sale of land to members of the public using so-called ‘boiler room’ tactics. The defendants ranged from organisers to salesmen to administrators for the string of companies involved in the fraud.

Lee Adams acted for 4 out of the 8 defendants in Operation Cotton, including the company administrator and 3 salesmen.

Although the FCA secured convictions against all defendants charged with operating a Collective Investment Scheme – a little used provision of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 with a maximum term of imprisonment of 2 years – it failed to achieve convictions for the headline offence of conspiracy to defraud against several defendants, including two represented by Hughmans.

Counsel instructed were:-

Chris Gillespie and Vivienne Tanchel of 2 Hare Court for the defendant Forsyth;

David Whittaker and Harry Bentley of 2 Hare Court for the defendant Peters;

Leon Kazakos of 187 Fleet Street and Christopher Ware of 2 Hare Court for the defendant Hawkins; and

Samantha Cohen and Richard Paton-Philip of 9 Bedford Row for the defendant Mitchie

More articles


Peter Black ranked in The Spear’s 500

Senior partner in the Civil Department Peter M Black has been interviewed for The Spear’s 500. Read the full article here. http://www.spearswms.com/storefronts/peter-m-black-hughmans/#.VFNlgLdyaUl

Read more

Significant Hughmans win

Asad Ali Meerza and others v Tareq Al Baho and others [2015] EWHC 3154 (Ch) Following nearly five years of hard fought litigation in various jurisdictions Hughmans have obtained a ruling against fraudster Tareq Al Baho, who had made a secret profit on the sale of a property belonging to the estate of a deceased […]

Read more

When is a divorce ‘obtained in’ the British Islands?

Peter Black acted for a respondent in a case which considered whether a divorce certificate granted at the consulate of the Russian Federation in London amounted to a divorce ‘obtained in’ the British Islands for the purposes of section 44 (1) of the Family Law Act 1986. The Court ruled that the divorce had been […]

Read more