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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 March, 2004, 16:12 GMT
PA 'was paid to cover up affair'
Joyti De-Laurey
Joyti De-Laurey denies the charges against her
A top City banker has been accused of letting his former PA take millions of pounds from his account for "loyally covering up" his extra-marital affair.

Southwark Crown Court was told Edward Scott-Mead, a former managing director of Goldman Sachs, "feared" for his reputation if the affair became known.

His former PA, Joyti De-Laurey, is accused of stealing nearly 4m from Mr Mead and other bankers.

Mrs De-Laurey, 35, from North Cheam, Surrey, denies the charges.

Her defence counsel suggested to Mr Mead he wanted to "conceal" his frequent "office hours" meetings with a woman lawyer who worked for a legal team advising the "opposition" in a hostile take-over bid he was involved in.

Banker 'initiated process'

Barrister Jeremy Dein put it to him: "You appreciate that Mrs De-Laurey's case is that you allowed her to take large sums of money because she loyally covered up for the no-good you were up to during the currency of your employment."

"That is absolutely false", Mr Mead replied.

The barrister went on: "I positively suggest to you, Mr Mead, that you regarded substantial payments to Mrs De-Laurey as being excellent value for money you could easily afford to conceal the affair you were having."

"That is categorically wrong," Mr Mead said.

He went on: "May I just remind you I caught Mrs De-Laurey and initiated the process that led to her arrest. She forged everything.

"If I had given her consent why did she have to forge? I had no knowledge whatsoever that she stole money from me."

He told the jury that while he had been unfaithful to his wife it did not change "the fact" that Mrs De-Laurey was a thief who had betrayed him.

Denies charges

The Crown alleges that Mrs De-Laurey earlier stole more than 1m from Ron Beller, 41, another former partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs and his wife Jennifer Moses.

Mrs De-Laurey denies a total of 21 charges of obtaining money for transfers by deception using "false instruments", between 27 June, 2000, and 26 April, 2002.

Her husband Anthony, a 50-year-old former chauffeur, and her GP mother, Dr Devi Schahhou, 67, of Hampstead, north-west London, have each pleaded not guilty to associated money laundering charges.

The Crown has claimed the personal assistant used the money to indulge in spending sprees that included a 300,000 Cartier collection, designer clothes and expensive cars.

It is also claimed she also spent 750,000 on a seafront villa in Cyprus where she planned to start a new life.

The trial continues.


SEE ALSO:
City banker 'did not give PA 1m'
27 Feb 04  |  London
Banker's 'generosity' towards PA
27 Jan 04  |  London
'Luxury trip during sick leave'
21 Jan 04  |  London
Worker 'stole 4.5m' from bosses
20 Jan 04  |  London


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