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FM Capital Partners wins global fraud case against former CEO

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Alternative asset management group FM Capital Partners (FMCP), has secured a judgment against Frederic Marino, its former CEO, and former Julius Baer banker, Yoshiki Ohmura, in respect of multiple acts of fraud and corruption.

The High Court judgment marks the culmination of four years of FMCP and Hogan Lovells working to recover the stolen funds. It is now expected that FMCP will be able to recover approximately USD20-25 million as a result of the judgment.
The judgment found that, during the period 2009-2014, Mr Marino and Mr Ohmura’s fraudulent scheme dishonestly funnelled money away from FMCP and the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio (LAP), whose assets were under FMCP’s management. Marino and Ohmura were found to have filtered fees through their private offshore companies and paid up to USD15 million in bribes to cover up their actions. The claims against the individuals outlined a ‘web of corruption’ that was used to fund lavish lifestyles.
LAP’s concerns about Marino’s management of its money surfaced initially in late 2011, following the Libyan revolution. In 2014, after Marino’s suspension, the FMCP Board of Directors kicked off an independent investigation into the misappropriation of funds by Marino and others, and reported the matter to the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Shortly afterwards, Marino was dismissed on grounds of gross misconduct, and FMCP issued the present legal proceedings against him in the High Court. Around the same time, the NCA began a criminal investigation into Marino and Ohmura’s conduct, which is still ongoing.
FMCP runs a series of funds worth some USD550 million on behalf of the LAP. In a drive to ensure its future success, FMCP, working alongside Ahmed A. Kashadah, the late Managing Director of LAP, has overhauled the management of its business, dismissed Marino, and remains regulated by the FCA. FMCP invests on behalf of LAP, having been established to build a valuable asset management business as a key part of the future generation of Libya. This case forms a part of wider and ongoing attempts by the various Libyan sovereign wealth funds to recover the millions allegedly lost by mismanagement and illegal activity of fund managers.
Roger Turner, CEO of FMCP, says: “We welcome this judgment and I am very pleased to see justice being delivered against Mr Marino and Mr Ohmura for their fraudulent scheme against FMCP. I am ambitious for FMCP and want to see us continue to grow as a business investing the vast fund provided by Libya for the Libyan people.”
Crispin Rapinet, Head of Hogan Lovells’ global Investigations, White Collar and Fraud practice said: “Today’s judgment reinforces the consequences of engaging in serious fraud. The ruling is an important step forward in the ongoing global fight against bribery and corruption.”

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