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Noakes' financial fixer guilty in "classic white-collar crime" case

Noakes' financial fixer guilty in

Tuesday 12 February 2019

Noakes' financial fixer guilty in "classic white-collar crime" case


The man responsible for looking after all of the money behind GcMAF and Immuno Biotech has unanimously been found guilty by Guernsey's Royal Court, after a week long trial where he tried to argue total ignorance to the illegality of his job.

Peter Dawson-Ball, 64, faced three counts of knowingly benefiting from the proceeds of crime, one across a number of months, and two more specific charges. While he pleaded not guilty to all three, the Jurats found the evidence to be totally convincing of the fact he knew exactly what was happening. As it was a criminal trial, they had to be sure of Dawson-Ball's guilt or they could not convict him.

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GcMAF claimed to cure cancer, Alzheimers and more. But it had never been through any clinical trials, and the only licensing it had world wide was that of a food supplement akin to cereal. 

Dawson-Ball's trial came to a conclusion on Friday after a week's worth of evidence was presented. Telephone transcripts of conversations Dawson-Ball had at the time of the arrest of David Noakes - the boss of Immuno Biotech - lay at the centre of the prosecutions case, as they showed the defendant arranging for 'cleaners' to sweep a farm house in France, and also for a colleague to make sure a car was "clean". 

There was also an email chain showing Dawson-Ball had worked with a potential buyer of GcMAF in the United States to find a way to evade the country's customs to import the product. In those emails, the customer asked Dawson-Ball to delete the email chain when they had finished discussing it. 

Finally, when Immuno-Biotech's bank accounts were frozen in Guernsey, Dawson-Ball used his expertise in the industry to help Noakes kick off companies and bank accounts in the Netherlands, because tax on supplements was particularly low there. From that point on, a great deal of GcMAF business was run through those companies, of which the defendant was the Ultimate Beneficial Owner. 

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David Noakes (pictured) was sentenced to 18 months in prison toward the end of last year in front of Southwark Crown Court. He was charged with manufacturing and distributing an unlicensed medicine, and also money laundering - a similar charge to Dawson-Ball. 

Dawson-Ball's defending argument was built on the fact he was always oblivious to the fact GcMAF was an unlicensed medicine - saying he believed it was a supplement that did not need licensing at all. On this basis, Dawson-Ball's lawyer argued he could not be guilty because he was charged with knowingly benefiting from the proceeds of crime - he would not be guilty if he benefitted unknowingly. However the Court decided this was not the case after hearing from a number of witnesses brought forward by both the prosecution and the defence. 

During his closing speech on Friday, Crown Advocate Will Giles said that a man who admits they are as "fastidious, cold and clinical" as Dawson-Ball would have never missed a detail as important as what classification the product they were selling was.

"This is a man who treats detail very, very seriously," he said, adding Dawson-Ball did not only work for David Noakes, but "managed [him] so the scheme could continue". 

"David Noakes pulled the strings, and in order to pull the strings, you need people standing by, you need lieutenants. Mr Dawson-Ball was one of those people."

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The defendant has been found guilty, but was bailed until sentencing. 

It was made clear to the court that Noakes, who is currently in prison in the UK, was very manipulative of his staff, and had them convinced everything he said was true. The question really came down to whether Dawson-Ball was in the know along with Noakes, or was one of those "conned" by him.

Previously, Dawson-Ball has also run foul of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. In 2010 it carried out an investigation into him, and eventually sanctioned him for breaking fiduciary rules. He was banned from working in that sector for life. 

He will be sentenced on the 22 March this year, alongside Samata McPane, a co-defendant who had previously pleaded guilty to similar charges. 

 

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