Murder 'followed insurance fraud tip-off': Court told hitmen's victim was named in phone call to Lloyd's investigator. Malcolm Pithers reports

A MAN accused of conspiring to kill an accountant involved in an international shipping fraud tipped off a Lloyd's insurance investigator about the fraud plan and said that Special Branch would vouch for him, a jury at Carlisle Crown Court was told yesterday.

Stephen Schepke, 46, from Sidcup, south-east London, denies the conspiracy and aiding and abetting the killing of David Wilson, 47, who was shot in the head by two professional gunmen.

The Lloyd's investigator, Anthony Cook, told the jury he had been contacted on the telephone by Mr Schepke in October 1991, five months before the killing, and told about a dollars 40m ( pounds 26.5m) plan to defraud both Lloyd's and the buyers of a consignment of Marlboro cigarettes. He had also said he had previously operated in Army Intelligence.

Mr Cook, who was at the time manager of the advisory department of the regulatory directorate within Lloyd's, said it was customary for notes of all telephone conversations in his department to be made from a separate telephone speaker. This had been done during all his discussions with Mr Schepke.

The jury had earlier heard that Mr Wilson was murdered in the garage of his home in Chorley, Lancashire, in March 1992 by two unknown killers after he had been involved in arranging for the shipment of the cigarettes on a vessel he had bought and named after one of his daughters, Lisa Marie. He was shot after it became known he had been questioned by Fraud Squad officers.

The Crown's case, put by Brian Leveson QC, centres on the dealings between Mr Wilson and a man in New York referred to as 'the Colonel' and named as Hector Portillo, who was said to have wanted the Lancashire accountant killed.

The Crown alleges that Mr Schepke conspired with others to have Mr Wilson murdered and that details of his house in Chorley were faxed directly to Mr Portillo shortly before the assassination.

Yesterday, the third day of the trial, Mr Cook told the jury that Mr Schepke had first called him on 9 October 1991.

Mr Schepke told him that he had discovered a dollars 40m 'scam' involving two ships which should have been loaded with containers of Marlboro cigarettes. Mr Cook, reading from his telephone notes, said that Mr Schepke had said that both ships would be operated by 'bent skippers' and would be sunk at sea. He said he had no idea of how the sinking would be done or whether the lives of the crew would be in danger.

He had gone on to explain that a man known only as 'Ian' employed by Lloyd's was also involved in the fraud. He named 'Hector Moretto' as being involved and said that bank accounts had been set up in Zurich and Liechtenstein with fraudulent bonds.

He intimated that all the evidence in the fraud would be destroyed and that would include the paperwork and the 'meat and bones'.

He explained to the jury that there had been a series of telephone calls between them, and during one Mr Schepke had said that he had an intelligence network which 'was better than the Old Bill'. He had also told him that he had previously been in Army Intelligence and that Special Branch would vouch for him.

He had gone on to reveal that David Wilson was 'Hector Moretto's right-hand man'. Mr Schepke had also said that Mr Wilson was on the Home Office 'shit list'. He had advised Mr Schepke to talk to a Fraud Squad officer in the City of London about the plan.

The hearing continues today.

Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments