Jailed fraudster’s appeal rejected by judge

Malcolm Barber.
Malcolm Barber.

A conman who defrauded investors out of millions of pounds in an elaborate savings scam has lost an appeal bid.

Malcolm Barber, along with his sidekick Terry Warrington, a corrupt Morecambe businessman, duped 127 unwitting victims – mostly pensioners who had handed over their life savings and retirement funds.

Barber, 70, of Links View, Wallasey, was jailed for four years in January, along with Terry Warrington.

Barber appeared before the Court of Appeal in London this month to argue that he should be allowed to appeal against his conviction.

But a single judge rejected the application as without merit.

Financial whiz Barber, along with Warrington, ran two firms – Gentry and Dublin – that promised “complete security” bonds to investors, whose cash was then loaned to “high-risk” people turned down by the banks.

But they were left with nothing when the two companies, registered variously in the Isle of Man, Bahamas and Guernsey, collapsed in 2007 owing a total of £5m.

Victims, many of whom invested tens of thousands of pounds on the promise of sky-high returns – may have to wait more than a year to find out if they can recoup at least some of their losses.

The painstaking process – made under the Proceeds of Crime Act – will establish how much Barber benefited from his crimes, and what assets he owns that could be confiscated to meet the bill.

A five-day hearing was scheduled for September but has now been moved to March next year. Barber was found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading. Warrington, of Michaelson Avenue, Morecambe, admitted fraud and theft and was jailed for four and a half years.