A look back to February 2019 and Guernsey ML conviction of Peter Dawson-Ball
On the 31 December 2020 the GFSC announced that on 15 November 2019, it applied to the Royal Court of Guernsey under section 427 of The Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008 (the "Companies Law"), to seek a disqualification order against Mr Dawson-Ball*.
The following provides a look back
Peter Dawson-Ball background
- Peter Dawson-Ball was responsible for looking after GcMAF, and Immuno Biotech's money was unanimously found guilty in February 2019 by Guernsey's Royal Court
- Peter Dawson-Ball, 64, faced
- Three counts of knowingly benefiting from the proceeds of crime, one across a number of months, and
- Two more specific charges.
- During the week-long trial, Peter Dawson-Ball argued total ignorance of the illegality of his job.
- While he pleaded not guilty to all three, the Jurats found the evidence to be compelling of the fact he knew exactly what was happening.
- As it was a criminal trial, they had to be sure of Dawson-Ball's guilt, or they could not convict him.
Background of the case
- GcMAF claimed to cure cancer, Alzheimers and more. But it had never been through any clinical trials, and the only licensing it had worldwide was that of a food supplement akin to cereal.
- Telephone transcripts of conversations Dawson-Ball had at the time of the arrest of David Noakes - the boss of Immuno Biotech - lay at the centre of the prosecution's case, as they showed the defendant arranging for 'cleaners' to sweep a farmhouse in France, and also for a colleague to make sure a car was "clean".
- There was also an email chain showing Dawson-Ball had worked with a potential buyer of GcMAF in the United States to find a way to evade the country's customs to import the product.
- In those emails, the customer asked Dawson-Ball to delete the email chain when they had finished discussing it.
- Finally, when Immuno-Biotech's bank accounts were frozen in Guernsey, Dawson-Ball used his expertise in the industry to help Noakes kick off companies and bank accounts in the Netherlands because the tax on supplements was particularly low there.
- From that point on, a great deal of GcMAF business was run through those companies, of which the defendant was the Ultimate Beneficial Owner.
- David Noakes was sentenced to 18 months in prison toward the end of last year in front of Southwark Crown Court. He was charged with manufacturing and distributing an unlicensed medicine, and also money laundering - a similar charge to Dawson-Ball. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-guernsey-46359949
- Dawson-Ball's defending argument was built on the fact he was always oblivious to the fact GcMAF was an unlicensed medicine - saying he believed it was a supplement that did not need licensing at all.
- On this basis, Dawson-Ball's lawyer argued he could not be guilty because he was charged with knowingly benefiting from the proceeds of crime - he would not be guilty if he benefitted unknowingly.
- However the Court decided this was not the case after hearing from a number of witnesses brought forward by both the prosecution and the defence.
- During his closing speech Crown Advocate Will Giles said
- That a man who admits they are as "fastidious, cold and clinical" as Dawson-Ball would have never missed a detail as important as what classification the product they were selling was.
- "This is a man who treats detail very, very seriously," he said, adding Dawson-Ball did not only work for David Noakes, but "managed [him] so the scheme could continue".
- "David Noakes pulled the strings, and in order to pull the strings, you need people standing by, you need lieutenants. Mr Dawson-Ball was one of those people."
- It was made clear to the court that Noakes, was very manipulative of his staff, and had them convinced everything he said was true. The question really came down to whether Dawson-Ball was in the know along with Noakes, or was one of those "conned" by him.
- Previously, Dawson-Ball has also run foul of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. In 2010 it carried out an investigation into him, and eventually sanctioned him for breaking fiduciary rules. He was banned from working in that sector for life.