The co-owner and director of an East Sussex-based print company and his business partner have been found guilty of overseeing the production of brochures that promoted fraudulent investment schemes worth £1.5m.
Stuart Still from Newhaven, East Sussex, was the co-owner and director of Zeta Colour, which was based in Seaford and closed in 2011.
Still produced the literature for overseas-based boiler rooms at Zeta Colour and was then paid thousands of pounds by the crime gang into accounts directly under his control.
City of London Police detectives uncovered how the brochures were sent to people who had been contacted over the phone by boiler room operatives in an attempt to convince them to put their money into fraudulent investment schemes.
One victim, who received and read one of the brochures, invested £100,000.
Marianne Van Santé, from South Ascot, Berkshire, acted as the conduit between Still and the boiler rooms - Cantwell International, Gateway International and Talvest International.
She made the introductions, sourced investor leads and assisted in the design and print work.
In 2011, the City of London Police Money Laundering Unit received a referral from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) identifying that Still was involved in printing promotional material for Talvest International.
Detectives then identified that Still and the companies under his control had been printing for alleged fraudulent investment companies going back as far as 2005.
They identified that Still and Van Santé had come to the attention of the FCA in 2009 and 2010 for their involvement in the printing and distribution services for Cantwell International and Gateway International and had been warned about their conduct and the potential criminal offences being committed.
Still and Van Santé were arrested in February 2012. Following a trial, the pair were found guilty last Friday (11 March) at Blackfriars Crown Court of making or supplying articles for use in fraud. They have been released on bail and will be sentenced on 5 April.
City of London Police detective constable Barry Butler said: “The brochures that were produced and sold by Still and Van Santé formed an integral part of the sales pitch made by three boiler rooms, giving them credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of potential investors.
“Their conviction also highlights how once an investigation starts the City of London Police will follow all evidence of criminality to bring those responsible to justice, whilst seeking to disrupt and frustrate the activities of key facilitators assisting in these frauds.”
Below: The brochures that promoted fraudulent investment schemes worth £1.5m