Tony Morris was a "deeply involved central figure" in the alleged £52m GP Noble pension scheme fraud and instigated the illegal transfer of funds, a court has heard.
In his opening speech to Southwark Crown Court, prosecution counsel David Farrer QC said Morris (pictured) was at the crux of the fraud which saw two "sweeps" of millions of pounds transferred from nine failed pension schemes in August 2007 and April 2008.
Farrer said Morris would have been fully aware of the fiduciary duties placed on trustees as he was the ultimate owner of independent trustee firm GP Noble - which he bought while running The Money Portal.
He added: "Morris instigated the opportunity to use funds for highly risky investments from which he would make very large profits. It is quite clear that from an early stage Morris intended to use a substantial slice to fund his own personal financial needs."
Farrer said Morris, who denies all charges, received a large part of the first sweep of funds, and took complete control of the second wave in April 2008.
The prosecution claim Morris and his co-defendant Peter Malmstrom, who acted as an investment adviser during the operation, worked together to defraud the pensioners of the affected schemes.
Malmstrom, he said, operated as a "money launder" in the operation and expected "handsome rewards" from Morris.
Farrer went on to describe how, of the 2007 funds, which totalled £31m, about £18m would end up in a range of companies and loans made directly to Morris and others.
An off the shelf company - Fareston - was set up and registered in the British Virgin Islands specifically for the transactions. Another company Multiple Unilateral Financial Futures, controlled by Morris, was used later in the complex transactions.
Farrer described the financial transactions as a "farce".
Morris denies all nine charges against him, these include conspiracy to defraud, theft and the aiding and abetting fraud.
The trial continues...
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