Ponzi scheme fraudster Alistair Greig has jail term cut by four years

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image copyrightCIARAN DONNELLY
image captionAlistair Greig denied the offences

A financial services director found guilty of conning investors out of millions of pounds has had his jail term reduced.

Alistair Greig, 67, was jailed for 14 years in April 2020 for one of the biggest frauds of its kind in Scotland.

He masterminded a Ponzi scam which sucked in dozens of individuals to place their funds in "guaranteed" high interest accounts.

Judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal have cut his sentence by four years.

During his trial, jurors at the High Court in Edinburgh heard Greig was using the cash to fund his own lavish lifestyle of top-of-the range cars and trips to see English Premiership matches.

His solicitor advocate John Scott QC convinced judges Lord Turnbull and Lord Matthews that their colleague Lord Tyre was mistaken to give him 14 years.

Mr Scott argued that Lord Tyre imposed an excessive sentence in the light of the jail terms given to people convicted of similar offences.

He also said that the original court didn't impose a sentence which took account of Greig's health issues.

The appeal judges agreed with Mr Scott's submissions and reduced Greig's sentence to 10 years.

Lord Turnbull said: "When the appellant's whole circumstances are taken account of, including his age and his mental and physical health; and when a broad account is taken of other sentences presented on the appellant's behalf, we shall quash the sentence imposed on the first charge of which the appellant was convicted and in its place we shall impose a sentence of 10 years."

Greig was earlier unanimously found guilty of obtaining £13,281,671.25 by fraud through his scheme between August 2001 and October 2014.

He pretended to investors he would place money in a short-term deposit scheme with the Royal Bank of Scotland for fixed periods of time.

'Personal slush fund'

He was also convicted of breaching financial services and markets legislation and converting and transferring £5.7m in criminal property. He denied the offences.

The Crown listed a total of 165 victims of fraud on the indictment brought against Greig, formerly of Cairnbulg in Aberdeenshire, who was latterly residing at London Road, Kirkton.

He used the proceeds to fund investments in property, including a holiday home in Cornwall, and a classic car business.

He also treated himself to a Bentley and Range Rover vehicles and spent lavishly on trips to Old Trafford to see Manchester United and to Cheltenham and Ascot for race meetings.

Prosecution lawyer Steven Borthwick told jurors that Greig used the money entrusted to him as "his own personal slush fund".

Earlier this year, prosecutors launched a proceeds of crime action against Mr Grieg. They claim he made more than £21m during his criminal career.

A further procedural hearing will take place on 14 June.

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