Prosecution QC begins his summing up by raising evidence given at court by the German directors in charge of DAS while Asplin was there
The summing up of evidence began today in the fraud trial between DAS and its former UK chief executive Paul Asplin.
Asplin is accused of defrauding the legal expenses insurer by arranging for the insurer to enter into contracts with two companies he had an undeclared financial stake in – Med Report and CW Law.
Asplin and his five co-defendants have been standing trial at Southwark Crown Court since April.
And as prosecuting QC Richard Whittam began summing up the case, he focussed on the evidence given at court by the German DAS directors in charge at the time of Asplin’s involvement with the insurer.
The court heard Asplin was summoned to Munich in April 2014, while an investigation into Asplin’s personal interest in the companies was ongoing, to discuss with directors his involvement in Med Report.
“Asplin told directors he had no financial interest in the company – that was a bold lie given his history with the company,” Whittam told the jury.
“At that time the investigation was intensifying, but he maintained his position that he had no interest.”
The defence have argued the German directors were happy to let Asplin continue running the UK business because it was performing well and making money between 2000-2014.
But Whittam told the court the evidence from the German witnesses showed the conflict of interest “would not have been tolerated”.
Director Peter Wiegand had in his evidence spoken about a one-to-one meeting with Asplin in 2004 in which Whittam reminded the jury he said he “trusted” Asplin as “his man” and that he was “horrified about the whistleblowing and wanted to give Asplin a chance to defend himself” against the allegations.
He went on that if he had known about Asplin’s interest he would have “stopped everything”.
And reflecting on fellow German director Jochen Messemer’s time in the witness stand, Whittam said: “He (Asplin) had been an impressive worker, but Mr Messemer added it would never have been a reason to tolerate any misbehaviour.
“However good you are, you have to obey the rules.”
And Messemer stated during his time on the stand that neither he nor fellow directors Rudiger Bauer, Rainer Huber or Peter Stoeckl knew about Asplin’s part ownership of Med Report.
Speaking to the jury, Whittam added: “We submit to you the evidence is overwhelming. He has no answer to it and that is why he has refused to take the stand. He could not stand up to cross examination.”
Standing trial alongside Asplin are his wife Karen Asplin, ex-wife Sally Jones, his friend Robert Dalley, former claims manager at DAS David Kearns, who like Asplin also held a 33% share in Med Report, and Kearns’ wife Jayne Kearns.
All except Mrs Asplin are accused of conspiring to commit fraud in regards of Med Report. Mr and Mrs Asplin and Mr Kearns are also accused of conspiring to commit fraud in regards of CW Law.
The trial continues.