Enron banker Giles Darby back behind bars - running Cirencester pub
By Western Daily Press | Monday, October 14, 2013, 05:00
He was a West banker who infamously ended up in jail after becoming embroiled in the infamous Enron scandal in the US, but now Giles Darby is behind bars in a different way – running a Cotswold pub.
Giles Darby, one of the Natwest Three jailed in the US for his part in the Enron scandal, pictured leaving his home in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, for extradition to the United States in 2006
The former corporate banker was one of the NatWest Three, who were controversially extradited to the US to face trial for corruption, even though the deal they struck with the rogue Enron executives happened in London and involved a business in the Caribbean.
Darby was, at the time, living in a large, plush house in South Wraxall, near Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire, and after the fight against extradition began, he turned his hand to running a mobile hog roast business across the West.
So now it is less of a surprise to find his name above the door of the Marlborough Arms, a down-to-earth real ale pub in the centre of Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
He was convicted and jailed along with his "partners-in-crime", David Bermingham and Gary Mulgrew, and as part of a plea bargain deal with US prosecutors, the three were given lighter sentences and allowed to serve them back in Britain.
As part of his release deal, Mr Darby is not allowed to incur new credit or debts, but that is not the reason why customers trying to pay for their ale at the Marlborough with a bank card are politely informed it's cash only.
Ironically enough, the credit history of the pub's previous incarnations means few banks are willing to install the chip and pin machines necessary, which is an irony not lost on the new landlord.
"We're a new business, we just can't afford the bank fees," he said. "Maybe that's karma. Lloyds would allow me a card machine, but they would charge me an extortionate amount," he added.
Mr Darby had a famous but minor part in the biggest global financial fraud of the 21st century so far, the giant "Ponzi" scheme conducted by Enron, which saw the company build up huge debts through creative accounting. When it all fell down, the firm went bust overnight and US prosecutors prosecuted everyone they could involved in any of the fraudulent deals.
The trio from NatWest's City banking firm arranged to buy and then sell an Enron subsidiary company at a knock-down rate and then pocket some of the profit themselves, but British prosecutors decided they had no case to answer here, before extraditing them to the US to stand trial.
Mr Darby makes no secret of his past to his customers – one of the questions in a recent pub quiz he hosted was: 'How long did I spend in jail?'
"We were stitched up. You don't go up against the US machine and come out a winner. But I've done my time and things have worked out surprisingly well," he said.