Court of Appeal confirms judgment in high-profile fraud case against former CEO of FM Capital Partners

LONDON, 26 February – Hogan Lovells has today secured another victory in the high-profile fraud case brought by FM Capital Partners (FMCP) against its former CEO, City banker Frederic Marino. The Court of Appeal ruled unanimously in favour of Hogan Lovells client FMCP, dismissing an appeal from Mr Marino against the original trial decision from 2018.

In a judgment in July 2018, following a three week trial, the High Court found that Mr Marino, and former Julius Baer banker, Yoshiki Ohmura, had participated in multiple acts of fraud and corruption, enriching themselves at the expense of FMCP.

Today's judgment by the Court of Appeal confirms that FMCP can recover all the assets and property wrongly taken by Mr Marino up to an approximate value of $21m including interest, and that it is not required to give credit for recoveries made from other third parties. FMCP can also recover approximately $19m from Mr Ohmura after his own appeal was struck out in late 2019 due to his failure to comply with various conditions that had been imposed by the Court of Appeal.

Crispin Rapinet, Head of Hogan Lovells' global Investigations, White Collar and Fraud practice, said: "We are delighted with the Court of Appeal judgment, which provides helpful guidance on the recovery of damages for victims of fraud, bribery and corruption."

Background

Frederic Marino and Yoshiki Ohmura acted dishonestly over many years as they received secret commissions and paid bribes totalling upwards of USD 25 million in connection with a portfolio of assets owned by the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio (LAP), a Libyan sovereign wealth fund.

At the time, FMCP was managing LAP's assets, but Mr Marino defrauded FMCP by conspiring with Mr Ohmura to divert funds away to offshore companies and accounts (in Monaco, Cayman, Seychelles and Dubai) they controlled personally over a four year period starting in 2009. The original High Court decision found that Marino "papered up" payments via contracts with Ohmura, and their respective companies. They used the stolen money to fund lavish lifestyles.

After discovering the wrongdoing in 2014, FMCP dismissed Mr Marino for gross misconduct and launched the wide-ranging claims (which have also encompassed proceedings in Monaco and Norway) to recover the misappropriated funds, later obtaining a worldwide freezing order over Mr Marino's assets.

In July 2018, the High Court found Mr Marino and Mr Ohmura to be liable to FMCP in relation to each of the transactions in issue in the proceedings, with Mr Marino liable for his multiple breaches of fiduciary duties. Both Mr Marino and Mr Ohmura were found liable for bribery and for dishonestly assisting in other breaches.

The full Court of Appeal judgment handed down today can be found here.

The legal line-up: 

For the claimant, FM Capital Partners:

The Hogan Lovells team comprised Crispin Rapinet (Partner), Oli Humphrey (Counsel) and Rebecca Hing (Associate), instructing Nathan Pillow QC of Essex Court Chambers. 

For the defendant, Frederic Marino: 

Frederic Marino: Thomas West, of Richard Slade & Company

For more on anti-bribery and corruption from our Investigations, White Collar, and Fraud practice, please visit our ABC Portal and check out our newly-released global survey on the concerns of bribery and corruption concerns of multinationals around the world.


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