UK fraud office drops Kaupthing probe

AP News
Posted: Oct 15, 2012 11:07 AM
UK fraud office drops Kaupthing probe

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Serious Fraud Office has ended an investigation of Iceland's Kaupthing bank after concluding there was insufficient evidence to justify extending the three-year probe.

Since December 2009, the office had been investigating whether Kaupthing made false claims in seeking British investors in Kaupthing Edge, billed as a high-yield deposit account. The Serious Fraud Office was also looking at why "substantial value" was taken out of the bank shortly before it collapsed in November 2008.

Although the U.K. investigation has ended, the Serious Fraud Office said Monday that it would continue its "close cooperation" with the Special Prosecutor's Office in Reykjavik.

Two wealthy British-based entrepreneurs, Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz, have sought damages claims worth more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) against Kaupthing. Both had been subjects of a Serious Fraud Office investigation, but the agency said they are no longer suspects.

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In July, a British court found that the Serious Fraud Office had made serious mistakes in applying for search warrants in its investigation of the brothers.