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Babushka bar owners jailed for £2million loan swindle

PUBLISHED: 12:20 16 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:23 07 September 2010

TWO directors of a Hampstead bar who pulled off a £2 million loan swindle to fund extravagant lifestyles have been jailed. Gary Hibberd, 45, and Timothy Allen, 36, who ran Babushka on Heath Street as well as other top London nightspots, admitted two count

TWO directors of a Hampstead bar who pulled off a £2 million loan swindle to fund extravagant lifestyles have been jailed.

Gary Hibberd, 45, and Timothy Allen, 36, who ran Babushka on Heath Street as well as other top London nightspots, admitted two counts of conspiracy to defraud.

Southwark Crown Court heard last week their success was built on borrowed cash.

Over two years, the pair conspired together to defraud the Royal Bank of Scotland and loan company Lombard North Central Plc so they could drive around in Bentleys and splash cash leading the high life.

On Friday Hibberd, of Grosvenor Road, Pimlico, was sentenced to six years' jail while Allen, of Tavistock Crescent, Notting Hill, was locked up for three and a half years.

Prosecutor John Williams said: "They had what was perceived as the trappings of wealth, which was impressive to those with whom they came into contact, but it was borrowed so there was not substance to the wealth."

Judge Michael Gledhill QC added: "A great deal of money was used to fund extravagant lifestyles. You were both unscrupulous in the way you persuaded the banks to part with their money. In the circumstances these offences are serious and have to be met with custodial sentences.

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