An accountant is to appear in court to face charges of fraud and making employer-related investments - the first time The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has prosecuted for these offences.
Roger Bessent is accused of abusing his position as the director of Gleeson Bessent Trustees Ltd, a professional pension scheme trustee, to transfer more than £200,000 of pension scheme funds into his bank account and those of companies controlled by him.
The funds were transferred from the Focusplay Retirement Benefit Scheme, the sponsoring employer of which was Gleeson Bessent (Accountants and Business Advisers) Ltd where Bessent was a director.
Bessent, aged 66, whose business is based in Ashton on Ribble, Preston, faces five counts of fraud by abuse of position and five counts of making employer related investments.
He has been summonsed to appear at Preston Magistrates’ Court on January 30 2019.
Fraud by abuse of position is an offence under Section 1(2)(c) of the Fraud Act 2006. It carries a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.
Making a prohibited employer-related investment is an offence under Section 40(5) of the Pensions Act 1995. It carries a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment.