Nathan Skinner reports on the continuing Independent fraud case

Indie trial prosecutors are in the final stages of wrapping up the first phase of their case against the three former insurance company directors.

This week the court heard from the last substantial prosecution witness whose testimony related to Ind-ependent Insurance’s reserving problems.

One witness, Ian Helmore, who was appointed a director of the company in August 2000, neatly summed up the many problems with Indie reserves.

“I was told not to increase reserves in some cases without authorisation from Michael Bright,” he informed prosecutor, Andrew Baillie QC.

Jurors also heard for a second time that whiteboard registration was in fact a perfectly reasonable method of recording complex claims files. But elsewhere the suggestion has been made that files remained on the whiteboard for too long.

Meanwhile, fraud specialist Gareth Rees QC, Philip Condon’s counsel, set about presenting the former deputy MD as an approachable and popular manager.

In turn, during cross examination, Dennis Lomas’ counsel showed that a key prosecution witness actually had no direct contact with the former finance director throughout his time at the company.

It is anticipated that over the coming weeks the prosecution will turn the spotlight on Independent’s under-writing, internal auditing and reinsurance scheme.

All three defendants deny the charges of conspiracy to defraud.

The trial continues.