Palma.—The Serious Fraud Office yesterday confirmed that Richard Pollett, a suspect in the alleged fraudulent Gilher investment scheme, has been returned from Majorca and appeared before Bradford Magistrates on Wednesday charged with conspiracy to defraud.

Pollett, who is orginally from Poole and was extremely well known here in Majorca, joins John Hirst charged earlier this year with conspiracy to defraud in connection with an alleged “Ponzi” investment scheme that targeted UK based investors and expatriates living in Majorca.

In addition to the conspiracy offence, Pollett is charged with making misleading statements.
He has been granted conditional bail.
Gilher Inc was a Panama and Seychelles registered company, operated by John Hirst, which invested funds on behalf of private clients who were mainly based in the UK and Majorca.

The scheme attracted over £10 million of investors' funds with losses thought to be around £6 million.
The investigation started in November 2009 following complaints made to the SFO by investors and has been carried out with the assistance of West Yorkshire Police and Surrey Police and overseas law enforcement authorities.

John Hirst appeared before Bradford Magistrates on April 6 and Daniel Hirst, Linda Christine Hirst and Zoe Waite followed at the end of last month. When Richard Pollett was first arrested in a joint operation involving both Spanish and City of London Police, there was uproar here in Majorca with scores of victims of the alleged scam gathering outside Palma courthouse for a glimpse of Pollett as he was taken in for questioning.

Some of the people outside in the crowd told the Bulletin that they had been “close friends” of Pollett for many years and trusted him because he had been looking after their finances and advising them for a number of years.

Apart from having lost substantial amounts of money, they also felt personally let down.