Bentham accountant disqualified for 15 years

Geoffrey Langdale.
Geoffrey Langdale.

A Bentham man has been disqualified from working as an accountant for 15 years - a year and half after he was jailed for running a ‘Ponzi’ investment scheme.

Geoffrey Langdale, 63, of Springfield, Bentham, North Yorkshire, was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment at Bradford Crown Court after he was found guilty of running a ‘Ponzi’ investment scheme.

His victims lived in Bentham, Ingleton, Lancaster, Doncaster, Penrith, Windermere, Preston, Buxton, Colwyn Bay, Bury, Carnforth and Felixstowe.

He dishonestly obtained more than £2.3 million from clients.

This follows an investigation by North Yorkshire Police and a subsequent investigation by the Insolvency Service.

On February 4, 2016, District Judge Forrester ordered Mr Langdale’s disqualification for the maximum period permitted by law of 15 years, with effect from February 25.

Geoffrey William Langdale traded as an accountant in the Lancashire area from 1993 and in 2003 Langdales Accountants Limited was incorporated to continue the work of Mr Langdale’s sole trader business.

The Insolvency Service’s investigation found that:

Between June 2002 and June 2013, Mr Langdale dishonestly obtained money transfers totalling £2,333,488 from clients, having told clients these funds would be invested in a high interest-bearing savings account and would require a 90 day notice period before they could be withdrawn. In fact, the funds were used by Mr Langdale and he used deposits by subsequent investors to pay earlier investors, effectively a ‘Ponzi scheme’.

Only £1,112,951 of this was repaid, resulting in losses to clients of £1,220,537.

On August 19, 2014 in the Crown Court at Bradford, following an investigation by North Yorkshire Police, Mr Langdale was convicted on indictment of obtaining a money transfer by deception and on September 26, 2014, he was sentenced to six years imprisonment in relation to these offences.

Robert Clarke, Group Leader of Insolvent Investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said: “The imposition of a ban for the maximum period of 15 years sends out a clear message that where a company director abuses a position of trust in order to persuade clients to part with their money, the Insolvency Service will take action to remove that director from the business environment for a lengthy period of time.”