Back in September Chris Byrne, an adviser for Jersey-based Lumiere Wealth, who advised unsophisticated investors to invest in the unregulated Providence Bonds opportunity, failing to disclose that Lumiere Wealth was in fact owned by Providence, was convicted of fraud.
Byrne was convicted not just for his misselling of Providence Bonds, but for other frauds including conning a near-blind woman into making a £1 million personal loan to him.
News from Jersey then went silent for a month and a half. Until last week, when the Jersey Post revealed that Byrne’s sentencing had been delayed at the last minute, on the grounds that Byrne had been helping the police of neighbouring Guernsey with their inquiries into a related investigation.
Commissioner John Saunders apologised to the investors in the Royal Court for the unexpected delay in sentencing but said the court had no choice given the revelations.
The information about the Guernsey informing was revealed during mitigating statements by Advocate Olaf Blakeley about four hours into the hearing.
Given that Byrne has already been judged guilty, and all that remains is to decide how long he will get banged up for, you would assume that the information he has provided to the Guernsey police is of some substance to merit a delay in his sentencing.
Victims of the Providence Bonds collapse attending in court were reported to have reacted with frustration at the delay.
Given that prison sentences for fraudsters in this part of the world tend to be less a punishment, more a brief compulsory networking opportunity, they probably shouldn’t lose too much sleep over what happens to Byrne from this point.