IOU, says 10m fraudster

Financial adviser and Halifax agent Graham Price left an IOU for 7m in the branch safe – after stealing almost 10m to fuel his horse racing obsession.

Swansea Magistrates Court heard that over four years, Price took money from the safe and also diverted funds from private investors’ accounts. In one nine-day spree he is thought to have stolen 3m.

The scam was discovered when an auditor visited the branch unannounced and opened the safe to find it empty except for a note saying: “I have borrowed 7m from Halifax.”

Price worked as an agent for Halifax and ran the business from his Swansea office, where he also had his own financial consultancy. In 2001 he started stealing cash from the accounts of 85 private investors who had believed their money would grow. He had also launched another scam 18 months before he was arrested, whereby he transferred Halifax money into his own account.

Halifax has frozen the victims’ assets while the case is investigated.

Jason Clarke, spokesman for Halifax, says: “He has committed frauds including promising people amazing returns on investments. He was fixing it so money appeared to go into these people’s account while in reality it did not. We have informed the clients of this. We are not claiming any of their money back but simply making them aware their money was not deposited.”