From Mersey Magazine.....

Malcolm Barber, a stalwart of cricket locally on Wirral for many years and a former honorary treasurer of the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition, is facing a prison sentence, having been found guilty of a multi-million pounds fraud

At the end of an eight week trial, a jury at Preston Crown Court took just a few hours to convict 70 year old Barber of Links View, Wallasey, of his role in an investments swindle that left dozens of pensioners penniless.

The court had heard that Barber, along with a second man, Terry Warrington, from Morecambe, who had already pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading, played a leading role in two companies which promised complete security and guaranteed high interest fixed-rate bonds.

Many of the investors were pensioners who had put their life savings and retirement funds into two investment companies which were incorporated in the Bahamass

When the companies collapsed owing in the region of five million pounds, the investors were left with nothing.

Barber, who last year quit his role as honorary treasurer of the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition, had denied four charges of fraudulent trading between December 2002 and autumn 2010 and one count of carrying out a unauthorised investment business, claiming he did not play a management role at the companies during the time in question.

After the case, Detective Constable Stuart Haigh from Titan's regional asset recovery team (RART), said: "Terry Warrington and Malcolm Barber are fraudsters who promised the earth to people but delivered very little.

"Their investors were often people enjoying the later stages of life who wanted to make the money that they had earned from a lifetime of work last a little bit longer.

"It was a classic case of Warrington and Barber 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' and, despite having a 2m black hole in their finances and being insolvent, they continued to dupe investors into handing over more cash for the promise of returns that were never going to be achievable.

"Both men are responsible for a great deal of heartache and financial devastation suffered by dozens of people from both Merseyside and Lancashire, including some who regarded Warrington and Barber as their trusted friends.

"Today's conviction of Malcolm Barber and the guilt admitted by Terry Warrington highlight the dangers people can leave themselves open to at the hands of predatory conmen who care only for getting ahead in life themselves and little for the ruin they leave in their wake.

"I would like to thank everyone who worked on this investigation and prosecution for their dedication and professionalism during what has been a long and complex case"

Barber will be sentenced next month.