Das v Asplin: Guilty three sentenced to 15 years

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Paul Asplin, David Kearns and Sally Jones were sentenced to a total of 15 years for conspiracy to defraud insurer Das.

The three defendants were sent down at Southwark Crown Court on Friday after a trial that had lasted since April.

They were accused of, among other charges, establishing a company called Med Report, with the goal of using Asplin’s influence at the time as Das CEO to drive business from the German-backed company.

  • Asplin, former Das CEO, was sentenced to seven years. He is disqualified from serving as a company director for 12 years.
  • Kearns, former Das claims director, was sentenced to four years and three months. He is disqualified from serving as a company director for eight years.
  • Sally Jones, ex-wife of Asplin, was sentenced to three years and nine months. She is disqualified from serving as a company director for eight years.

All three will serve half of their sentence in jail, with the remainder of time as a suspended sentence.

Earlier this week three other defendants, Robert Dalley, Karen Asplin (Paul Asplin’s current wife) and Jayne Kearns (David Kearns’ wife) were all found not guilty.

Speaking to Asplin, the judge said: “I find you a manipulative, arrogant and greedy man, who for many years exploited the misplaced trust that the company’s German shareholders had in you, and who you once described as idiots.”

The sentencing was preceded by a lengthy mitigation by defence lawyers for the three, who argued that – since it was difficult to qualify exactly the loss faced by Das – the sentencing should be in line with a breach of fiduciary duty rather than a conspiracy to defraud.

However, the judge said: “I have no doubt that the sentencing guidelines for conspiracy to defraud properly applies to it.”

He said the loss figure was “closer to £4m than otherwise”.

Outside court, a spokesperson for Das welcomed the sentence. “Having found evidence indicative of wrongdoing, it was important that the company pursued the matter to its conclusion,” the spokesperson said.

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