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SFO confiscates over £450,000 from CEO and a senior executive behind global finance fraud

1 December, 2023 | News Releases

Today, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) secured over £466,000 from former Balli Steel Plc. executives who are currently in prison after a successful prosecution by the UK’s specialist anti-fraud agency.

In March 2023, CEO Nasser Alaghband and senior executives Melis Erda and Louise Worsell were jailed for over 12 years in prison for defrauding over 20 banks and securing loans for around half a billion dollars.

SFO investigators exposed that the executives benefitted personally from the frauds they perpetrated by paying themselves large salaries and drawing additional funds from the company. These monies were used to pay for luxury lifestyles, including a £70,000 rental property near Cannes for the CEO’s personal use and his membership of an exclusive golf resort in the south of France.

Following action by the SFO proceeds of crime team, Southwark Crown Court ordered Mr Alaghband to pay over £100,000, while Ms Erda will pay over £350,000. The executives have up to six months to fulfil their confiscation orders, and failure to pay could result in an additional prison sentence.

The SFO’s investigation into Louise Worsell is ongoing. The case will return to court on 4th January.

Nick Ephgrave QPM, Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said:

“Following our successful prosecution, my team uncovered secret Swiss bank accounts and offshore trusts used to try to conceal the proceeds of this huge fraud.

“A prison sentence is hugely significant but not the end of our work. We have the tools, the expertise and the determination to find and seize money made through fraud and hit criminals in their pockets.”