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In what court papers described as “a brazen shell game to deceive and hide assets”, Olins is alleged to have “lied repeatedly, grossly understating what he received from the sale of valuable art and antiquities so that he could pocket money that should have gone to satisfy [a $3.37m] court judgment”.

According to the prosecutors’ complaint filed in a Manhattan Federal Court, Olins conducted the scheme from July 2011 in coordination with an executive of an art and antiques dealership, since named as Neville.

Neville left the firm earlier this year.

Charges

Olins, arrested in August, has been charged with one count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud.

The dealer, who remains uncharged, is not named in the complaint but is described as a “co-conspirator”.

At the time of the alleged conspiracy, Mallett was a publicly traded company.

Martin Peterlechner, the group marketing director for Stanley Gibbons, said in a statement: “Although the matter was unknown to us at the time of our acquisition of Mallett plc in October 2014, we are co-operating fully with the governmental authorities in the US and we are unable to comment further.”

Asked for an additional comment by ATG, Stanley Gibbons said that Henry Neville is no longer actively involved in the business.