Richard Baldwin Money Laundering Trial: Sentenced in Absence

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On 3 September 2019, at Southwark Crown Court, His Honour Judge Hehir sentenced Mr Richard Baldwin to a total of 5 years and 8 months’ imprisonment.

Mr Baldwin was sentenced in his absence after he absconded from justice during his trial for money laundering in July 2017.  The sentence also includes punishment for separate contempts of court that he admitted in November 2015 for breaching a Restraint Order made in June 2011.  The Restraint Order prevented Mr Baldwin from in any way disposing of, dealing with or diminishing the value of any of his assets within or outside of England & Wales.

The criminal property was laundered between October 2007 and November 2008 and represented the proceeds of a conspiracy to insider deal by Martyn Dodgson and Andrew Hind. Mr Baldwin used off-shore companies, bank accounts and false invoices to effect his money laundering.

HHJ Hehir remarked that Mr Baldwin had been convicted on “compelling evidence” of “extremely sophisticated” money laundering.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Mr Baldwin to be brought before the Court.

Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, said,

‘Money-launderers compound the harm caused by crime by helping to cover up the offence and making it more difficult for victims to get the redress they deserve. Mr Baldwin remains a fugitive.  However, we will continue to pursue him to ensure he fully accounts for his wrongdoing and serves his sentence.”

Confiscation proceedings will be pursued.

This investigation was conducted in partnership with the National Crime Agency.

Mr Baldwin remains at large. If you have information about his whereabouts please report it to your local police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

The guilty defendant

Richard Baldwin (3 December 1966) – a businessman, involved in the luxury watch business with Andrew Hind.

Overview of the facts

On 9 May 2016, Martyn Dodgson and Andrew Hind were convicted of conspiracy to insider deal between November 2006 and March 2010. Dodgson and Hind agreed to deal secretly, sometimes on the basis of inside information.  Dodgson sourced inside information from within the investment banks at which he worked and passed on this inside information to Hind who acted as a ‘middle man’. Hind then effected secret dealing for the benefit of Dodgson and himself.

Baldwin was a business partner of Hind; the two men ran a luxury watch business from offices in Marylebone. Baldwin knew Dodgson through Hind.

In order to keep their involvement in dealing secret, Dodgson and Hind avoided receiving their profits direct from the traders who traded on their behalf.

To receive some of the proceeds from the conspiracy, Baldwin set up a company in Panama and opened a company bank account in Zurich. In October 2007 Baldwin received £1.5 million into the company account in Zurich and explained the receipt of the monies by providing a false invoice to his bankers.  The £1.5 million represented profit from insider dealing in Scottish & Newcastle plc. Having received the money, Baldwin, over the course of the next year or so, dissipated the vast amount of the £1.5 million through the use of his other Panamanian companies and off-shore accounts. Those off-shore companies acted as buffers, which had the effect of concealing the true source of the funds.

Following the search of Baldwin and Hind’s business premises by the FCA in March 2010, Baldwin closed the account of the Panamanian company that received the £1.5 million and of the two other Panamanian companies through which he had moved the bulk of the money.

Contempt of Court

In June 2011, Baldwin was notified of the Restraint Order. Within a fortnight he had flown twice to Geneva and withdrawn the sterling equivalent of £114,000 in cash and liquidated assets worth more than £82,500. Over the next six months Baldwin accessed safety deposit boxes in Switzerland and England and dealt with the assets contained therein. Over the next two years Baldwin failed to repatriate assets to the UK and disposed of those assets and he dealt with undisclosed income.

The Operation Tabernula investigation

Operation Tabernula is one of the FCA’s largest and most complex insider dealing investigations. The offending in this case was highly sophisticated and took place over several years. The investigation was demanding and time-consuming. Investigators, forensic accountants, lawyers, markets experts, intelligence analysts and digital forensic specialists pooled their skills to unravel the conspiracy and subsequent laundering by Baldwin. This was achieved through painstaking analysis of trading, financial and communications data, documentary evidence from the investment banks, and the material seized during searches under warrant. Surveillance was also deployed.

This conviction – alongside those of Martyn Dodgson, Andrew Hind, Paul Milsom, Graeme Shelley and Julian Rifat – brings to six the number of convictions secured in the Operation Tabernula insider dealing investigation.

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