(Bloomberg) -- A BGC Partners Inc. London employee accused alongside a senior broker of stealing around $35 million said he’s prepared to return $20 million of his spoils.
Michael Viney, a tax adviser, is alleged to have diverted funds destined for U.K. tax payments to himself and his girlfriend. He’s been sued in London by BGC, which is also pursuing another senior broker to recover the funds. Viney said he owes the funds but denied misleading the tax authority in a legal filing made public this week.
The inter-dealer broker revealed it had uncovered a theft earlier this year and named Viney and Xavier Alcan in the lawsuit, saying that the pair carried out a “substantial fraud” over a six-year period. The two funneled funds that were meant to go to or from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs into personal bank accounts and spent the proceeds on property and gifts, according to the London legal filing.
In total Viney’s lawyer said in the court document he’s liable to reimburse BGC for 14.3 million pounds ($20 million) as well as a further payment of $665,000.
According to BGC, the theft involved nominating a designated partner to deal with tax issues. Viney nominated Alcan, who then went on to ask the tax adviser to arrange for refunds to be deposited directly into his personal account. Viney’s lawyer said Alcan was liable to return some 8.7 million pounds and a further $585,000.
The two men have since been suspended.
A spokesman for BGC declined to comment. Lawyers for Viney declined to comment.
Taylor Wessing, the law firm representing Alcan, declined to comment on the case. Alcan is yet to file defense papers in the suit, according to court records.
Viney’s lawyer said in the court document that Alcan was liable to return some 8.7 million pounds and a further $585,000.
Viney said he’d initially sought approval from BGC’s chief operating officer Sean Windeatt in setting up the plan.
“Windeatt agreed he was unsuitable to act as nominated partner since he was very busy and not consistently available for such matters,” Matthew Cook, Viney’s lawyer, said in the legal filing.
Answering analyst questions on an earnings call in March, chief financial officer Steven Bisgay called the event “unfortunate,” but didn’t comment further.
(Updates with declined to comment in the seventh paragraph)
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