Ex-Goldman Sachs investment banker ordered to pay back £7.3 million

Investment banker Ellias Nimoh Preko who laundered millions of dollars for James Ibori – the former Governor of Delta State in Nigeria – has been hit with a £7.3 million confiscation order. The National Crime Agency’s (NCA) financial investigation into 60-year-old Preko began after he was convicted of money laundering in December 2013 for handling funds plundered from Delta State by Ibori. He was sentenced to four and a half years.

At Southwark Crown Court the Judge ordered Preko to pay back £7,324,268.41 within three months or serve a ten-year default prison sentence.

Kim Kitney, head of financial investigations for the NCA, said: “Professional enablers such as Ellias Preko, who use their legitimate position within the finance industry to conceal the illicit funds of criminals and corrupt elites, are the lynch pin of the billions of dollars laundered through the UK each year. Pursuing, prosecuting and making them pay is a priority for the NCA and we will continue to target these corrupt individuals to drive illicit finance out of the UK.”

Preko worked for Goldman Sachs dealing with West African clients, but in 2001 the company decided to refuse to act on behalf of Ibori and other African clients due to suspicions and risk associated with them.

Preko subsequently left and took Ibori with him as a client, setting up a number of corporate vehicles on his behalf. These subsequently received US$3.9 million which represented funds stolen from Delta State.

Confiscation proceedings against James Ibori are still proceeding.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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