The jury has been sent into recess to consider the verdict in the £160m (€185.4m) alleged fraud case involving Total Asset Finance after two days of summing up by the judge.
The SFO investigation into now-defunct Warrington-based funder Total Asset began in January 2011, after it collapsed with debts of around £150m. The trial began on 5 September 2016 at Southwark Crown Court.
Stephen Dartnell, George Alexander, and Kerry Lloyd, formerly of Total Asset, and Carl Cumiskey, formerly of H2O Networks, were charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation with respect to KBC and Barclays.
Elfed Thomas, formerly of H2O Networks, and Simon Mundy, formerly of KBC, were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in respect to the purchase of a number of agreements by KBC from Total Asset.
Dartnell, Mundy, and Lloyd were also charged with conspiracy to give corrupt payments in connection with the same agreements.
The case involves a total of 42 contract transactions between H2O, Total Asset, and KBC, and three to Barclays, in relation to fibre optic network systems in local authorities, dubbed ‘fibre cities’. The judge said £48m could not be accounted for from the £160m.
The judge said: “Fraud is not a victimless crime. We’ve seen the positive traits of human nature… [and] the very opposite, lack of integrity [and] greed.”
The defendants were given bail subject to remaining in the building, except between 13:00 and 14:00, a time during which the judge said he would not take a decision.
The judge said he was not likely to consider a majority verdict.