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August 15, 2019

Deloitte facing negligence claim over H20 Networks?

Elfed Thomas, founder and former CEO of H20 Networks has submitted allegations of negligence against Deloitte to the Financial Reporting Council. The Financial Times says the claims centre on the audits of H20’s accounts in particular in 2009 and 2010 in which Deloitte ‘missed key issues that would have uncovered the fraud and saved the company from collapse’.

Four individuals were found guilty at Southwark Crown Court in February 2017 of conspiracy to make corrupt payments and conspiracy to commit fraud against Barclays Bank and KBC Lease (UK) (KBC), in order to obtain almost £160m. Stephen Dartnell and George Alexander of Total Asset Finance (TAF), Carl Cumiskey, finance director of H2O Networks and Simon Mundy who worked for KBC were found guilty. Together, the convicted men were sentenced to a total of 56 years (44 to be served consecutively). Kerry Lloyd of TAF and Elfed Thomas of H2O were both acquitted.

There was no dispute that fraud on a massive scale had occurred, but the defendants denied involvement and, in the main, blamed each other. Dartnell, Alexander and Cumiskey had conspired to create, sign and sell falsely inflated or entirely false contracts from H2O to business lenders, Barclays Bank and KBC.

More than 42 fraudulent contracts were drawn up, claiming clients from Local Council Authorities, universities, NHS Trusts and regional police and fire services were purchasing services from H2O Networks and Total Asset Finance, when in reality they were either entirely false or inflated in value by millions of pounds.

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