'I used alias' admits Manx regulator

Testimony by former aide to banned broker is new blemish on tax haven's reputation
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The Independent Online

Catherine Turner, a former regulator with the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission, has admitted using an alias to help controversial British stockbroker Keith King.

Catherine Turner, a former regulator with the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission, has admitted using an alias to help controversial British stockbroker Keith King.

The publication of Mrs Turner's statement is the latest twist in the scandal surrounding the demise of the Isle of Man-based stockbroking firm City and International Securities. CIS's managing director Keith King, now 50, has since been banned from trading from the offshore tax haven.

In the statement made to the Financial Supervision Commission, Mrs Turner admitted that while working for King, he required her to pose under an alias to deceive associates.

Mrs Turner admits in the statement that she knew what she was doing was "probably" wrong. "I did approach Mr King in respect of these matters to seek an explanation. He said it was nothing to worry about," she said.

Despite her admissions to the commission, Turner later went on to work for the regulator between 1997 and 1998.

Mrs Turner's statement has been obtained and published by Miami-based Offshore Alert newsletter run by investigative journalist David Marchant.

It follows a second successful court trial against CIS in Isle of Man courts. In the latest case Mr King and CIS were found to have illegally transferred £200,000 out of a family trust and required to pay damages.

The involvement of a regulator in such activities will be another setback for the offshore tax haven's reputation for offshore regulation.

Catherine Turner, now 35, says in her statement that between August 1988 and March 1990 she was working as an investment analyst and "right-hand man" to Keith King. She says during her employment: "Mr King requested I should assume the name of Mary Simpson on several occasions.

"This included undertaking transactions on behalf of Mr King under that name and representing myself to third parties as being Mary Simpson.

"I knew this was not something I should have probably been doing, and it was contributory to my keenness to leave (the company), but it was something that he had expressly asked me to do."

She then describes a number of meetings with people and phone transactions using the name Mary Simpson. On one occasion they went for a meeting in London with a official from the Ecoban bank.

"Shortly before the meeting Mr King said to me, 'by the way, you are going to be Mary Simpson in a moment'. Mr Y came into the room and I was introduced as Mary Simpson. I do not remember the content of the conversation."

On another occasion, "I believe that on the instructions of Mr King, I may have traded stock over the phone with South African brokers in the name of Mary Simpson, and I certainly signed the name Mary Simpson. I also believe I set up accounts with brokers who were members of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and at least one bank utilising the name Mary Simpson, although I cannot remember the name of the company for whom I was claiming to be acting."

The Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission issued a section 10 notice (the most severe action available) against King in December 1995, declaring him "not to be a fit and proper" person to be an officer or director of an Isle of Man-registered company. Two other officers of related companies were also issued with section 10 notices.

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