Nasir aide is jailed over stolen pounds 400,000

Polly Peck scandal: Former financier Elizabeth Forsyth faces years in prison as her disgraced employer languishes in hiding

Elizabeth Forsyth, a former banker, was convicted at the Old Bailey today of laundering pounds 400,000 stolen by her ex-employer Asil Nadir from his public company Polly Peck International.

Forsyth, 59, was remanded in custody by Mr Justice Tucker for pre-sentence reports; a defence application for bail was turned down. The judge warned her to be under "no illusion as to the likely nature of the sentence".

Forsyth,, from Great Dunmow in Essex, had denied two charges of handling the stolen cash in October 1989.

Lawyers for Asil Nadir are now expected to apply for the pounds 30m theft charges against the fugitive businessman to be thrown out.. His solicitor Peter Krivinskas said Nadir planned to apply to the High Court for the case to be dropped on the grounds of abuse of process. Nadir alleges general abuse, but the claim is understood to centre on the Serious Fraud Office's handling of the case and prejudicial media coverage.

The jury's verdict today, in essence, also convicts the fugitive tycoon, in his absence, of stealing from Polly Peck - a charge which he was facing when he jumped bail three years ago, four months before he was due to stand trial, and fled to North Cyprus..

The jury of seven women and five men, who deliberated on the verdict for nearly 12 hours, were told that before they could find Forsyth guilty that the Crown had first to prove that Nadir had stolen the money.

As chairman of South Audley Management (SAM) Forsyth managed the Nadir family's private businesses and wealth. She had helped Nadir to siphon cash along a circuitous route through Swiss and English bank accounts to pay his private debts, including a large share-dealing bill.

The prosecution said that in October 1989 Forsyth went to Geneva to withdraw pounds 400,000 in cash. The following day she deposited just over pounds 300,000 in a different bank with instructions that it should be transferred to AJ Bekhor, a London stockbroker to whom Nadir owed money. Forsyth returned to Britain the next day and gave the remaining cash to a chauffeur to bank. It was to pay money owed by Baggrave Farm - a Leicestershire estate owned by Nadir.

Forsyth maintained she had been sent to Geneva by Nadir simply to "hold the hands" of his bankers there following the Black Friday crash on the US markets. While in Geneva she said she was asked by a former director of SAM to withdraw the cash and transfer it to London. She claimed she had no knowledge of the monies' origin and had no reason to believe anything she was doing was unlawful. Geoffrey Robertson QC, her counsel, said Forsyth had been simply doing her duty when she was ordered to carry out the transaction.

The SFO say they are intent on prosecuting Nadir, although he remains a fugitive in Cyprus. A warrant is out for his arrest and he has been placed on Interpol lists.

Forsyth had herself gone to Northern Cyprus in early 1992. She had been questioned by the SFO the previous year, and in the summer of 1992 she learnt that the SFO wanted to interview her again, and in September 1994 she decided to return to Britain to face the music.

Forsyth was on bail throughout the five-week trial and was supported on many days by her 89-year-old mother.

Asil Nadir had been regarded as one of the wealthiest men in Britain. His pounds 1.3bn PPI empire collapsed soon after the Serious Fraud Office raided SAM'S Mayfair premises in 1990.

As a businessman, Nadir had won Queen's Awards for industry, and had been invited to 10 Downing Street several times by the then Prime Minister Mrs Thatcher, Mr Robinson said, adding that Nadir had also contributed large sums to the Conservative Party.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Dynamics CRM Developer (C#, .NET, Dynamics CRM 2011/2013)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Dynamics CRM D...

Web Developer (C#, ASP.NET, AJAX, JavaScript, MVC, HTML)

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...

C# R&D .NET Developer-Algorithms, WCF, WPF, Agile, ASP.NET,MVC

£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...

C# Developer (Web, HTML5, CSS3, ASP.NET, JS, Visual Studios)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor