Disgraced Preston and St Annes pension fraudster who swindled investment fund faces hearing to reclaim cash

Roger Bessent
Roger Bessent

An accountant who was jailed for helping himself to more than £295,000 from a pension scheme will today face a hearing to try to reclaim his ill gotten gains.

Roger Bessent, 66, of South Promenade, St Annes, was jailed for 40 months after transferring investors' hard-earned cash in order to help buy a house for his daughter and support family-related businesses.

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Preston Crown Court previously heard monies from the Focusplay Retirement Benefit Scheme - of which he was the trustee - went to enterprises in which he or relatives held an interest.
By February 2017, the scheme had 305 members with a fund value of £17.4m.

A probe was launched into his activities by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Insolvency Service.

Among the fraudulent transfers was £121,000 to help himself and wife Margaret purchase a home in Broughton, Preston, for his daughter and son-in-law.

He also moved more than £104,000 to his daughter’s nursery, Little Rascals (Preston) Ltd, and transferred £35,600 to Salvador Health and Recovery Ltd, a sports injury clinic ran by his son-in-law.

Another £27,500 was moved to Achieve Financial Freedom, a business he was planning to set up to establish himself as an independent financial adviser.

A further £7,000 was used to pay off a tax bill at the defendant’s accountancy practice Glesson Bessent (Accountants and Business Advisers) Ltd.

Bessent pleaded guilty to multiple counts of fraud and acting as a director while disqualified.

A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing will be held at Preston Crown Court.