Businessmen conspired to defraud BoI of €2.4m, commercial court rules
A Commercial court in London has found that four businessmen based in Switzerland and Germany engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and defraud Bank of Ireland (BoI) of €2.4m.
The court heard that a Munich-based businessman, Hermann Brendel, opened an account at the BoI branch on London's Finchley Road in 2004 for a company called Pexxnet, which he said was his UK-based specialist recruitment firm.
In September 2006, he flew to London from Munich with two cheques and one bank draft, each of them in an amount of €800,000. The cheques were processed by BoI and €2.4m in funds deposited in Pexxnet's account.
The three instruments were all made payable to a Spanish company called Docidiqmed and had apparently been endorsed to Pexxnet.
They appeared to be drawn on bank accounts at Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank and RV Bank in Germany.
The funds were deemed cleared by BoI four days later despite the instruments having not been cleared by their issuers.
Mr Brendel then transferred €116,000 to his own UBS account in Zurich and a further €2.22m to another UBS account in the Swiss city belonging to a firm called Montres Lunesa.
BoI was informed that the instruments it had cleared were fraudulent, but by the time it acted the money had already been transferred.
The court ruled that stories spun by Mr Brundel, as well as those of three other connected individuals, were "absurd" and ordered €2.4m repaid.