Financier accused of £200,000 Hope Valley fraud appears at crown court

Martin Rigney, 66, of King Edwards, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield. Accused of fraud and forgery in Hope Valley Derbyshire.

Martin Rigney, 66, of King Edwards, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield. Accused of fraud and forgery in Hope Valley Derbyshire.

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A former financial adviser who is accused of conning customers from the Hope Valley out of over £200,000 has appeared at Derby Crown Court.

Martin Rigney has allegedly committed eight counts of fraud and 11 counts of forgery between 2003 and 2012.

The 66-year-old attended a plea and trial preparation hearing at Derby Crown Court today, Tuesday, February 2.

Prosecuting barrister Richard Thatcher said: “The allegation is that he was acting as a financial advisor and created false signatures with documents to invest sums of money into higher risk investments and was allegedly increasing his commission at the loss of those entrusting money to him.”

A previous court hearing at Chesterfield magistrates’ court in January heard from prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop how Rigney was an independent financial advisor and director of Topps Rogers Financial Management.

She claimed Rigney allegedly transferred monies without the authorisation of a number of complainants who were customers of Rigney’s company.

Mrs Allsop also claimed that authorisations were allegedly forged.

The alleged value of losses, according to the Chesterfield magistrates’ court hearing, is over £200,000 to the detriment of customers, with Rigney allegedly obtaining commission with transfers from one fund to another.

Rigney, formerly of Great Hucklow, near Buxton, has given no indication of a plea at this stage of the proceedings to the eight charges of fraud and 11 charges of forgery - or making a false instrument.

The fraud charges allegedly involved Rigney making fund switches into units of the Curzon Capital Investment Poland Geared Growth Fund for himself.

Derby Crown Court heard today, Tuesday, February 2, how case exhibits have not yet been made available to the Crown Prosecution Service, according to prosecuting barrister Mr Thatcher.

Judge John Burgess told the Derby Crown Court hearing: “This case is not ready to go ahead and is to be adjourned until March 4 allowing sufficient papers to be available to take a plea.”

Rigney, of King Edwards, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, was released on unconditional bail.