Former Dewsbury man charged in £20m fraud case

UNDER INVESTIGATION: John Hirst. Picture courtesy of Hugh Ash.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: John Hirst. Picture courtesy of Hugh Ash.
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A FORMER Dewsbury man has been charged as part of an investigation into a suspected £20m fraud.

John Hirst, 60, is the owner of investment firm Gilher Inc, which the Serious Fraud Office has been investigating since November 2009.

The company, which is registered in Panama and the Seychelles, invested funds on behalf of private clients based mainly in the UK and Spain.

The business was controlled by Mr Hirst, who had moved to Mallorca.

But its dealings came under scrutiny when investors alleged losses.

Mr Hirst was first arrested in December 2009 at Bradford Police Station where he was interviewed by SFO investigators and West Yorkshire Police.

He returned to the station on Wednesday to be charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud and two of money laundering.

He was bailed and is due before Bradford Magistrates Court on April 6.