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SFO charges fifth individual with fraud at Balli Group and Balli Steel

22 October, 2020 | Case Updates

The SFO has today charged Vahid Alaghband with three fraud offences in relation to the activities of Balli Group Plc and Balli Steel Plc, taking the number of those charged in the investigation to five.

Vahid Alaghband is charged with two counts of fraudulent trading in the carrying on of the businesses of Balli Steel Plc and Balli Group Plc with the intent of defrauding creditors and one count of conspiracy to defraud the Development Bank of Singapore Limited. The SFO brings these charges shortly after charging Nasser Alaghband, David Spriddell, Louise Worsell, and Melis Erda with various fraud offences in relation to the activities of Balli Group Plc and Balli Steel Plc.

Vahid Alaghband appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today, Thursday 22 October 2020. He will make his first appearance at Southwark Crown Court alongside Nasser Alaghband, David Spriddell, Louise Worsell, and Melis Erda on Tuesday, 27 October 2020.

As this is an active case, the SFO can provide no further comment.

Notes to editors:

  1. Vahid Alaghband (D.O.B 20/03/1952), Director of Balli Steel Plc and Balli Group Plc, is charged with two counts of fraudulent trading, contrary to section 993(1) of the Companies Act 2006 and one count of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to common law.
  2. Of the other defendants, Nasser Alaghband and David Spriddell are each charged with two counts of fraudulent trading, with Nasser Alaghband additionally charged with six counts of conspiracy to defraud various financial institutions. Louise Worsell and Melis Erda are each charged with one count of fraudulent trading. Melis Erda is also charged with six counts of conspiracy to defraud various financial institutions, while Louise Worsell faces five counts of the same charge. More information on these charges and individuals can be found here.
  3. Defence representatives:
       a.   Vahid Alaghband: Steptoe & Johnson UK LLP
       b.   Nasser Alaghband: K&L Gates LLP
       c.   David Spriddell: Jonas Roy Bloom
       d.   Louise Worsell: Blackfords LLP
       e.   Melis Erda: WilmerHale
  4. The SFO announced its investigation into Balli Group on 3 May 2014.
  5. These are active proceedings and the strict liability rule in the Contempt of Court Act 1981 applies.

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