Former accountant for Jersey's regulator manages to avoid two years in prison

Pedro Gonçalves
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Former accountant for Jersey's regulator manages to avoid two years in prison

Accountant Timothy Owen Jones has barely avoided serving up to two years in prison after pleading guilty of disclosing confidential documents he had access to as a employee of Jersey's Financial Services Commission (JFSC).

Jones worked for three years at the JFSC and took documents home with him. When he was dismissed, he presented the confidential files to his new employer Vistra as templates for future applications with the watchdog.

Stating that the documents were "top secret", the 51-years old defendant told Vistra the files would be the "gold standard" for such paperwork. The documents consisted of compliance, anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing manuals that had formed part of Belasko Jersey's licensing through the JFSC, the Jersey Evening Post reports.

The harm is to do with with the confidence in the regulator that the financial service industry should have"

He pleaded guilty to one count of disclosing information about Belasko Jersey without the company's consent and faced up to two years in prison for the offence.

The new managing director of Vistra reported the matter to the regulator after he was made aware of the documents.

"What is the harm in this case?" magistrate Bridget Shaw asked. "The harm is to do with with the confidence in the regulator that the financial service industry should have".

Advocate Ian Jones presented  has mittigating factors that the defendant had since lost his job and most likely could never work again in the financial industry. 

He addedthat when Jones showed the documents to Vistra, he only intended to recommend that they hire the company that had prepared them - Optimus - and that his client did not recall saying they were ‘top secret'.

"He has already paid a heavy price and will continue to do so," his lawyer said.

The court has handed down a £5,000 fine to be paid over the next ten weeks, sparing Timothy Owen Jones from prison time.

 

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