Should this fraudster have been prosecuted?
I was intrigued to read the FSA disciplinary report on former banker Ravi Sinha.
To cut a long story short, Mr Sinha was a leading light in the City of London. Formerly with Goldman Sachs he moved to a newer organisation, JC Flowers, which was keen to make a name for itself, where he acted as CEO.
Demonstrating his confidence in the company Mr Sinha borrowed 9 million euros to invest with the firm. But he was unable to meet the loan repayments - despite his salary of over £800,000 per annum - and in 2009 he dishonestly obtained a total of £1.36 million for himself by raising false invoices to a client company.
The FSA have banned him for life from working in the City and fined him £1.5 million on top of requiring him to repay the £1.36 million (so the total penalty is £2.86 million). Since he has only recently emerged from personal bankruptcy the chances of the FSA seeing their £2.86 million look pretty slim.
But interestingly the police are not pursuing any criminal proceedings - so Mr Sinha is not at risk of going to prison.
There seems to be a certain amount of confusion about why that is according to a press report.
There are two ways of looking at this. On the one hand Mr Sinha has suffered very grave consequences in terms of his financial situation and his career and one might think he has suffered enough for his wrongdoing. On the other hand the financial penalty demanded by the FSA is unlikely to be paid and under normal circumstances a person found to have obtained a large amount of money by fraud would be expected to be imprisoned.
What would be your verdict?