UK fraud watchdog seizes dirty money tied to nearly £500m global metal scam
The UK’s fraud watchdog has seized £247k of dirty money from an account linked to Virendra Rastogi, a puppeteer in an around £493m global fraud case.
Once one of the UK’s richest men, Rastogi was one of three former directors of RGB Resources convicted of running an international metal trading scam that cost banks dotted across the world an estimated £493m.
The money, which has been claimed on behalf of taxpayers, was bagged after the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) made use of new account forfeiture powers.
“This case shows that the SFO will use every tool available to us to seek out and seize dirty money held on these shores and return it to victims or the UK taxpayer,” head of the proceeds of crime and international assistance division, Emma Luxton said.
“Though a fraction of the sum defrauded from banks, this forfeiture provides a sizeable amount of money to the public purse to be put towards good causes.”
The SFO found Rastogi and his partners Anand Jain and Gautam Majumdar guilty of conspiracy to defraud in April 2008.
The trio were sentenced to between 7.5 and 9.5 years in June 2008, with the case’s judge HHJ Wasworth saying they “had shown no shadow of regret or remorse or repentance.”
Since then, Rastogi has made headlines for receiving £5m in legal aid in April 2012 – while living in his £6m seven-bedroom Mayfair home.
Fraudster Rastogi’s front was so successful that he once appeared in the Sunday Times Rich List.
His scam, which used a web of over 300 fake customers from the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, India, France and Italy, reportedly earned him over £1bn.