Alessandro Gherzi Acquitted on Fraud and Money Laundering Charges: Otkritie Colleagues Convicted

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Former Otkritie banker, George Urumov and Vladimir Gersamia, who worked at Threadneedle, were found guilty on Wednesday of mispricing Argentine warrants to steal more than £141 million from their employers.

Urumov, 37, was also found guilty on four additional counts, including, coordinating a fake bonus scheme worth £25 million ($31.5 million) that was later transferred into offshore accounts.

Alistair Dickson of the Crown Prosecution Service’s specialist fraud unit commented:

“These men were successful traders, earning very generous salaries and large bonuses. But that was not enough for them,”

“Motivated by greed, they went about committing a fraud involving eye-watering sums of money using a variety of sophisticated methods.”

Despite his $2.5 million earnings, Urumov and his wife, Yulia Balk, bought a £19 million house “in what can genuinely be called Millionaires’ Row” in London, lead prosecutor Robert O’Sullivan told the jury. “This was not a fraud that was done on the cheap.”

Urumov’s wife, Yulia Balk and Alessandro Gherzi , an Otkritie colleague, were both cleared of several fraud charges and money-laundering accusations by the jury after trial.

John Milner, defence lawyer and head of IBB Solicitors’ Business Crime and Fraud team, represented 37-year-old Alessandro Gherzi who was acquitted on all charges by the jury following a three and a half month trial at Southwark County Court.

John Milner commented on the result:

“It was a huge relief that Mr Gherzi has been acquitted”.

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