Fraudster jailed for £18m theft bid

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A BUSINESSMAN who admitted his part in trying to steal almost £18m from a Swiss bank has been jailed.

Michael Shephard, 50, from Lancaster, was helped by lawyer Kevin Steele, 51, to create the illusion he had a £76.4m personal fortune, in two offshore accounts.

The pair used phoney paperwork, claiming the money was available as a security with Bank Julius Baer, to trick EFG Private Bank into paying out a huge loan.

EFG was told the cash would be used to finance the development of three luxury Turkish resorts, where England striker Wayne Rooney and Brazilian ace Ronaldinho wanted to buy villas.

Steele helped dupe the bank into believing “instigator” Shephard claimed he was a “phenomenally successful businessman”.

See The Visitor (31-01-12) for full story.