Danish bank Jyske has been found to have “knowingly and dishonestly” assist an insolvent law firm commit multi-million-pound fraud, according to a ruling at Gibraltar Supreme Court yesterday.
The court case followed a previous case which found Gibraltar-based law firm, Marrache & Co, guilty of conspiracy to defraud millions of pounds from its clients.
The case was made against the bank by insolvency practitioners on behalf of the firm’s defrauded clients.
The practitioners claimed the bank “dishonestly assisted” the law firm and that it “knowingly received some of the stolen monies.”
The history of the case goes back to 2010, when Marrache & Co was ordered by the court to be wound up. Both Adrian Hyde, partner at insolvency and restructuring firm CVR Global, and Edgar Lavarello, partner at PwC, were appointed as the firm’s liquidators.
During the liquidation of the company the three brothers running the company, Benjamin, Solomon and Isaac Marrache, were declared bankrupt.
In 2014, following financial investigations into the law firm, the brothers were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud millions of pounds from their clients.
Benjamin was sentenced to 11 years in prison and both Solomon and Isaac were jailed for seven years each.
Following the liquidation of Marrache & Co, Hyde and Lavarello were appointed as representatives of the firm’s defrauded clients.
In court the claimants were represented by Moon Beever Solicitors, TSN Solicitors, David Alexander QC and Daniel Lewis of counsel.
Jyske Bank was represented by Thomas Leech QC and Gibraltar-based lawyer Christian Rocca.
The bank was the main bank used by the law firm to look after its client and office accounts. The court ruled the bank assisted “the Marrache brothers to steal client funds”.
Hyde, reacting to the judgment, said: “The judge has found that substantial losses incurred by former clients of Marrache & Co happened after Jyske Bank’s involvement in the Marrache fraud, so Jyske are liable to these clients for this dishonest assistance.
“Millions of pounds were lost by clients of Marrache & Co during this grossly unacceptable fraud and we are extremely pleased this judgment has been handed down.
“This judgment will result in millions of pounds being repaid by Jyske Bank, along with substantial further interest, and is a very positive outcome for those defrauded so badly.”