Two former HBOS bankers are among six people who have today been jailed for almost 50 years between them for a scheme which ran businesses into the ground for their own personal gain, generating losses of around £250m for the now collapsed bank.
Lynden Scourfield, 54, once head of the HBOS department responsible for businesses in financial difficulty, has been sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to 11 years and three months in jail. He pleaded guilty in August 2016.
Meanwhile, David Mills, 60, has been jailed for 15 years, having been found guilty earlier this week after a five-month trial.
Mills' wife Alison, 51, his associates Michael Bancroft, 73, and Tony Cartwright, 72, and HBOS employee Mark Dobson, 56, were also all found guilty. Bancroft was sentenced for 10 years, Dobson for four and a half, Alison Mills for three and a half and Cartwright for three and a half.
During the case, the court was told David Mills bribed Scourfield, with lures including cash, exotic holidays and sex workers, to push troubled businesses to engage with Quayside Corporate Services, Mills' turnaround firm, should they want further funding from HBOS.
Scourfield then advanced sums of money to these businesses so large they could never feasibly be repaid. This allowed Mills, his wife, Bancroft and Cartwright to charge hefty fees for their consultancy services.
Many of the businesses involved eventually went into liquidation.
In sentencing Scourfield today, Judge Beddoe said:
I do not know when or how David Mills got his hold on you, but that he did. He is the devil to whom you sold your soul, for sex, for luxury trips with and without your wife; for bling and for swank.
A sixth man, Jonathan Cohen, 60, has been acquitted.