RBS Bankers Guilty of £3m Fraud Walk Free, Judge Says They’ve ‘Suffered’ Enough

File picture posed by models

File picture posed by models

Two RBS bankers found guilty of a property fraud worth £3m are walking away without jail time because the judge believes they have already “suffered” as they were “embarrassed” by the incident.

Despite pulling in salaries of over £100,000 a year each, the two RBS bankers decided they’d treat the RBS mortgage portfolio like their own personal piggy bank.  Raymond Pask and Andrew Ratnage set up a string of fake companies in the names of Pask’s relatives, which they used to apply for mortgages.  The pair would use the money to buy and renovate homes in order to sell them for a profit.  Over a period of five years, they swindled more than £3 million – buying properties in London, Essex and Kent.

The case has taken four years to come to court, giving the men time to payback their loans.  Judge Rebecca Poulet QC said, along with the embarrassment they have expressed, this is punishment enough:

“I have no doubt that both of you have suffered in the time it has taken this case to come to court.”

You were in effect greedy. You were acting in a breach of trust. It was sophisticated and sustained and to an extent involved others – the nominees of the companies.

“The public must be discomforted by hearing the details of your criminal conduct. But it did not involve loss to your employers and the actual risk was at least limited.

“You have expressed shame and embarrassment at what you have done – as well you might.”

Ratnage received a 20-month sentence suspended for two years and 300 hours community service, while Pask was given an 18-month suspended sentence and 250 hours of community service.

Factors the Judge appeared to take into account included:

  • Pask’s marriage collapsed when his crimes were uncovered.
  • Ratnage has suffered from poor health including diabetes.
  • Pask had his pension pot reduced to £120,000 – he claims this makes him “financially ruined”.

While able to render such compassion to privileged bankers who looked to fleece their own company to line their pockets – our poorest citizens get no such consideration.

Pete Woodcock – this Scunthorpe man received a 40% cut in benefits after he was diagnosed with cancer, leaving him in serious financial distress during his battle with a disease that killed his father and brother.  To add insult the injury, the DWP told him that he could return to his previous level of benefits, provided he gave up treatment and complied with the Jobseeker’s programme.

Linda Wootton, 49, was on 10 medications a day after a double lung and heart transplant.  She was weak and suffered regular bouts of blackouts.  She was put through the Atos Work Capability Assessment and as she lay in a hospital bed dying, she received confirmation she was ‘fit to work’.  She died just nine days later.  Her husband Peter said:

“I sat there and listened to my wife drown in her own bodily fluids. It took half an hour for her to die; a woman who is apparently fit for work”.

Brian McArdle, 57, had been left paralysed down one side, blind in one eye, unable to speak properly and barely able to eat and dress himself after a stroke on Boxing Day 2011. Despite this, he was deemed ‘fit to work’ by Atos.  He died of a heart attack the day after his benefit payments were stopped.  His thirteen year old son Kieran told the Daily Record:

“Even though my dad had another stroke just days before his assessment, he was determined to go…He tried his best to walk and talk because he was a very proud man, but even an idiot could have seen my dad wasn’t fit for work.

Colin Traynor, 29, suffered from epilepsy.  He was deemed ‘fit for work’ by Atos and forced to enter a lengthy, bureaucratic process to appeal the decision – during which his benefits would be frozen.  He did not live to see the result of his appeal.  Five weeks after his death, his family received the news that his appeal was successful.  Too late for Colin.  His father Ray said:

“I firmly believe – 100% believe – that the system this government introduced has killed my son.”

None of these people had the luxury of six figure salaries year in, year out, or six figure pension pots.  None of them acted out of greed.  None of them committed a crime.  All they asked was for what they were due under the law, and the state treated them like fraudsters.  Meanwhile, real life fraudster are pitied and pardoned.

We can do so much better than this.

Don’t Get Angry, Get Involved!

You can transfer your account away from banks like RBS, so why don’t you?  Move Your Money show you which banks are the most ethical and how to switch.

You can support groups like Disabled People Against Cuts, and the Black Triangle Campaign who are putting up one heck of a fight against government cuts to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

You can get involved with organisations like Foodcycle and Trussell Trust Food Banks who are working hard to feed the people left behind.

You can roll your sleeves up and join groups like The People’s Assembly and Occupy London who are actively re-imagining our world – how could we organise our society, economy and political systems so that they really worked for us all?

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51 thoughts on “RBS Bankers Guilty of £3m Fraud Walk Free, Judge Says They’ve ‘Suffered’ Enough

  1. This so called judge should be in jail with them for at least 10 years, because he is a fraud and a disgrace to the justice system, it definitely shows without a doubt that there is a law for the rich and the poor

  2. Judges, like the government don’t live in the real world, one rule for the rich and who they know and another for rest of us.
    So basically this judge is saying it’s on to do this!!! So have she now set a precedent and civil law as such, that future cases will be looked at in this way. what next!! This country does not look after its own unless it has the connections and money behind it. Another failing system…….

  3. The ATOS cases, as awful as they are, should be in their own article, not piggy backing on a completely separate matter in a criminal case. The appropriate comparison for this “wanker banker” story would have been a series of criminal cases where poorer fraudsters went to jail, so as to show how unfair the system is when the only difference is class wealth. I’m sure if they had come from a council estate background they would have served jail time as a “deterrent”.

    Although we have an independent judiciary, we seem not to have a classless one. Someone should look into the class connections between the defendants, their families, and the legal system of which Judge Poulet is a member.

    What would have happened if the housing market had crashed? They would not have been able to pay back the money then. Whether or not they could pay the money back should have made no difference: theft is theft and fraud is fraud. No matter what they are called, they are both stealing and that is wrong. Their intent to ignore the law,and th fact they did break the law was what should be punished, not whether or not they were lucky enough to have enough money to pay the loans back. As for being “financially ruined” with a pension fund of £120,000 – FOUR times higher than the average UK pension fund – that attitude just shows how much these men needed the shock of prison. Embarrassment should not be considered a punishment in this day and age: this pair will now think they ‘got away with it’. And they did.

    By the way, isn’t poulet French for chicken?

  4. Where is your compassion????It is obvious that these poor lads are down to their last bottle of champers and it may be some time before they can afford another one after all they had to repay the money!!!!!!! They will also have to get their hands dirty doing all this community service!!!!

    • i hope im missing the sarcasm in your comment, but alas, they paid back what they BORROWED, they kept all the profit they made from developing homes to sell for a profit on what they borrowed, hoping no one would notice while they borrowed it. free loans for them to make more money on top of their 6 figure salaries, with no risk evaluation. most people couldnt even get a loan with a hefty interest rate to do the same thing, let alone at 0%. its like stealing money and then investing it, making a profit and then going back to who you stole it from and telling them btw heres that money i stole.

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  6. I guess, IF I stole £3 Million from banks they’d be this lenient to me?? Not on your life, Even worse if I worked for banks, as that IS breach of trust and DEMANDS higher punishment. I’ve heard judges say exactly this to a mother (Cleaner) who stole to get kids a holiday etc. Is THIS the world we live in, and EVERY election everyone forgives the sins of THEIR choice of party and Vote for them again.

    We really NEED to change this system, junkies get yrs in prison, while Multi-Billion £ crimes get rewarded.

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  8. Disgusting………….wonder what I would get of I did what they did , as usual the bankers are above the Law, and WE are the ones paying for it, AND why did it take 4 years to come to court ?

  9. If they had not paid their TV licenses,straight to jail.They Judge is unable to do her job due to being sick in the head,or a close personal friend of the accused.She is the embarassment,to the justice system and should by sacked,but as judges are unsackable,even the paedophiles,she should retire

    • parliament, as the highest court in the land, can sack judges, apparently/ allegedly….not that they have actually done so. they still have immunity from prosecution in law as far as i can tell though

  10. Balanced view time: It is not the bankers’ fault that the judge showed compassion to them and that ATOS did not show any to the individuals in the cases quoted. On balance the judge was right to show compassion. The crime was victimless and the money has been repaid. As a result of being uncovered a marriage was broken, a financially secure future ruined. future employability reduced to almost zero. Hundreds of hours community service seems about right. What would be served by putting these guys in jail?

    ATOS are obviously completely wrong in the way they assessed these people – but it has zero connection to what happened in the RBS case, and to compare the 2 is totally spurious.

    • exactly well said.its a shame so many people feel the need to have an opinion at either one extreme or the other.

    • How was the judge right to show compassion???they stole £3000000, what you’re saying is I could go out and steal £3000000 but when I get caught and fall on hard times I should be treated leniently? Does the bank agree with you that it’s a victimless crime???do the families who have to live with what these morons did agree with you that it’s a victimless crime???the rest of your statement is just too stupid to answer,all I can suggest is when you get home from school today have a long hard think about what you type next time you absolute prat

      • ??? They didn’t stral 3 million. They too out mortgages fraudulently, secured against real property and used mortgages to generate profit and repaid the mortgages. Twats they are. Loatheome too. But they didn’t steal.

      • Watch Out, that last one has all he signs of being a troll, probably working for the banks or bankers in question and dropping false truths on this forum in an attempt to dilute and appease ! there has been a lot of information come to light recently proving that social media influence is part of the NSA program and since the UK is hand in hand they will be practicing it to

      • Yes, the bank agrees it was a victimless crime. They didn’t lose any money. They didn’t steal £3 million, they took out a loan that was much larger than they would have been allowed to *and then paid it back.* Literally nobody suffered.

    • Which social media reputation company so you work for Phil? No reasonable person can consider stealing £3,000,000 a crime that should not result in a prison sentence.
      A ‘victimless crime’ you say! The money in the bank belongs to its customers! Just because the victim can afford to lose that amount does not make it victimless!
      Judges should sentence white collar fraudsters in the same way they would the Hatton Garden Vault raiders!
      I hope the CPS appeal the sentence, but I doubt it, too busy hounding innocent journalists!

    • WHAT!!!???? Right to show compassion!!!. These well educated men knew exactly what they were doing, and knew the risks they were taking. They were willing to risk their jobs, marriages and dignity through greed NOT need . In my mind they should have been jailed. Benefit claimants are jailed for fraudulent claims , sometimes through NEED not greed.

    • Utter garbage. They defrauded the bank into giving them mortgages worth millions. The fact they renovated properties and made enough money to pay the bank back is entirely irrelevant. What if they had lost money and could not pay the bank back? Is that when they shoul have gone to jail? It is also entirely irrelevant to sentencong that a marriage broke up as a result. It was mortgage fraud. I would like to see you try that and then make a profit and pay the loan back and see what happens. I hope you like prison food.

  11. Everyone should close there bank accounts relating to that bank !! But they must work for the government as they (we) own it.

    • not so easy though….do you not remember all those heavily armed psycopaths physically stopping people from doing so whilst raping with cameras and selling the footage to tv companies for entertainment…?

      and i haven’t been able to get a bank account for over 9 years, because of the law apparently….so can’t work or do anything in this day and age without one….:-(

  12. Aunty (Judge)…… “Has mummy rang you yet about getting me off?”…… Same old same old…. But its not funny anymore.

  13. Oh the poor things.its,disgusting.try not paying the bedroom tax and see how one of us mortals get on…… One law for the rich etcetc…….

  14. Hands up anyone who feels sorry for them .If it was an ordinary hard working person who did what they are getting away with I’me sure they would be in prison right away .

  15. Interesting story which again highlights the different attitudes to the ech and poor. If that had been benefit fraud then the individual would have got a term in jail. What a shit country this is. I’m sick of hearing how we are all in it together. There is only ever one loser on this capitalist system and that is ordinary people doing ordinary jobs with ordinary lifestyles.

  16. People say I’m wrong when I celebrate a personal tragedy in the lives of these bastards.
    Perhaps they’re right but natural events whichbkill or maim then seem to be the only way justice is done today in the UK.

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  19. Suffered enough? I’ll tell you who I would like to see suffering and its some rich fucking tory twats and law enforcers.

    Haven’t we all suffered enough?? Ffs end austerity.

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