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Convicted fraudster sentenced following third name change

13 February, 2024 | News Releases

Today at Southwark Crown Court, convicted fraudster David Hardie, formerly known as David Black and David Diaz, received a 16 month custodial sentence (suspended for two years) for breaching an order obtained by the Serious Fraud Office which required him to notify the authority about any name changes.

Hardie was convicted in 2018 alongside five others for a £17m solar panel fraud that targeted 1,500 people – a majority of whom were pensioners – across the UK. He began using the name ‘David Hardie’ after he was released from prison in January 2021, in breach of the order. Hardie was convicted under the name ‘David Diaz’ and has also been known as ‘David Stark’, making this the third time he has used a different name in five years.

SFO investigators were alerted to the breach after Hardie wrote to authorities under the new name in October 2022, before admitting he had been using this name for over two years in business dealings to avoid potential clients finding out about his prior conviction for fraud.

Hardie pleaded guilty to breaching a Serious Crime Prevention Order (SCPO) in December 2023. This is the first time the SFO has prosecuted an individual for an SCPO breach.

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

 “Today’s sentence shows we are determined to protect the UK public and prevent re-offending, no matter what it takes.

“Our work continues long after sentencing. We monitor convicted fraudsters and seek to recover the proceeds of fraud.”

Notes to editors:

  • The SFO has imposed a total of 29 SCPOs to date. The order is designed to protect the public by imposing various conditions on a person to prevent them from engaging in serious criminal activity.
  • Since his release from prison on licence in January 2021, Black has been returned to prison twice, for breaching various licence conditions.
  • The SCPO required him to use the name David Black unless he changed his name by deed poll and notified the SFO.
  • In 2018, Black was convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation under Section 1(2) of the Criminal Law Act 1977, as well as for a bail offence.