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Following the Money

BBC 4’s series Follow the Money is back on our screens for a second series.

The crime thriller sheds light on the individuals trying to uncover economic crime, and in the latest instalment the forensic investigators were asked to unravel dirty dealings at a bank.

One of the team was alerted to the potential scam by a former customer of the bank, who was driven to ruin and ended up committing suicide.

Since he was caught up in the siege at the bank, the investigator is determined to find out what went on and discovers that many other former customers were ruined and forced to sell their properties when the bank foreclosed.

The story is reminiscent of a case that went to trial in the UK this year when a group of bankers were jailed for running “utterly corrupt schemes” that left hundred of small business owners “cheated, defeated and penniless”.

In this case a former senior HBOS manager was sentenced to 11 years in prison for his part in the fraud.

The TV series shows how the investigators go about obtaining the evidence needed to convict the miscreants.

This includes interviewing anyone they think might have played a part in the scam, going through financial records and analysing market prices to prove that businesspeople were given prices for their property that were much too low.

They also scrutinised the lifestyle of the key figures and found that many were living well beyond their means.

This activity mirrors the work of forensic investigators in the real world, who in the case involving the HBOS manager, probed their lavish lifestyle, which it transpired all came from ripping the businesses of “ordinary and honest people” apart.

Author: Roger Isaacs, 20 March 2017

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