View Full Version : Bank head leaves £7m IOU in safe

5th October 2005, 08:59
Oct 5 2005

Robin Turner, Western Mail

THE head of a small bank branch left a £7m "IOU note" for his bosses at the Halifax.

Married horse racing fan Graham Price, 58, left the note in a sealed envelope in the empty safe of the Halifax agency which he ran at Gowerton, Swansea.

A regular at race meetings in places like Chepstow and Cheltenham, Price siphoned off a total of £10m over four years, though he took £3m in just nine days last summer.

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Realising auditors would be called in, he left a note in the safe at the Sterry Road branch explaining he had "borrowed" £7m.

It was last November when Halifax officials acted, ordering an unannounced audit of the Gowerton agency branch.

When Halifax financial investigator Lesley Tucker looked into the branch safe, all he found were three boxes taped together containing the "explanatory note" from Price.

At Swansea Magistrates Court yesterday, Price, who lives in a £200,000 whitewashed home at Heol Rhuddos, Llansamlet, Swansea, admitted 43 charges of theft and deception amounting to £5m.

But magistrates also agreed to a further 263 similar offences to be taken into consideration taking the total to £10m.

The money Price stole belonged to the bank and investors.

He was released on conditional bail yesterday and the case was adjourned for sentencing at Swansea Crown Court on November 7.

Linda Baker, prosecuting, explained to the magistrates yesterday that Price began taking money from the safe and stealing from investors' accounts in January 2001.

She said, "It appears that over a period of time he was removing money from the safe and taking it from investors."

She said the offences, carried out over four years, were premeditated acts which all represented a breach of trust.

The whole thing came to light when the unannounced cash audit was carried out in November last year.

Mrs Baker said the Halifax financial investigator found just the note Price had written and signed declaring "I have borrowed £7m from the Halifax".

Mrs Baker said, "It appears that over a period of time he was removing money from the safe and taking it from investors."

Price disappeared after the Halifax discovered money was missing but he was traced and arrested.

Asked whether he admitted the charges Price told the court yesterday, "Each and every one."

Detectives have been speaking to more than 80 people who said they lost money when they invested money with the Halifax branch at Gowerton.

Many of the investors say their accounts have been frozen since the inquiry began and that they have had to "scramble around" for money.

Police investigations began after Halifax officials, stunned by what Mr Tucker told them, called officers into the offices of Graham J Price in Sterry Road, Gowerton.

The financial advice firm, which has been in business for around 20 years and a local agent of Halifax since 1996, was shut down following the discovery last autumn.

Officials from the bank have been in talks with detectives in Swansea.

A Halifax spokesman said it was unlikely the agency branch would reopen again in the same building.

5th October 2005, 09:03
Bet the investors wish they'd gone to an IFA now...

5th October 2005, 09:51
How encouraging.

Yet another entrepreneur from Swansea...


5th October 2005, 10:43
How encouraging.

Yet another entrepreneur from Swansea...


I thought you were from Neath !!