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Disgraced Enron-scandal banker runs Hove pub
A former banker jailed for his part in one of the biggest financial scandals in living memory is rebuilding his life running a Hove pub.
Gary Mulgrew was one third of the so-called NatWest Three who spent 37 months in a United States prison after becoming implicated in the multi-billion dollar collapse of energy firm Enron.
Two years on from his release, the 50-year-old is working and living in Brighton and Hove. He is focusing his attentions on two pubs in the city, being a single parent to his son and his search for his teenage daughter who was taken to Tunisia by his ex-wife six years ago.
US prosecutors claimed the trio co-ordinated the sale of NatWest holdings in Enron-related investments in an off-the-books partnership with an energy firm’s chief financial officer, Andrew Fastow, which allowed the firm to hide its liabilities. Allegedly the trio made $7.3 million from the deal.
In July 2006, following long extradition battle with the US, they agreed a plea bargain which saw them serve 37 months in a US jail.
The Glasgow-born father-of-two says that the trio were punished for their naivety as the only ones who came forward and volunteered information even before Enron went bankrupt.
But he says that he has not allowed the bitterness and anger to take control of him. He is determined to be there for his 16-year-old son Calum who he was away from for four years and to find his daughter Cara Katrina who he has not seen in six.
He has told his extraordinary tale in a prison memoir, Gang of One, which is now available in paperback and he is working on turning the book into a screenplay for a major Hollywood film.
Mr Mulgrew plans to pour all the money earned from the book into child abduction charity Reunite. He says that all the book and film work is aimed at helping find his daughter.
He said: “I just want her to know she was missed and that she was loved.
“Most parents would find it difficult being away from their children for a month and I’ve not seen her in six years.”
Mr Mulgrew served more than three years in the Big Springs prison in Texas surrounded by gang members and violent prisoners.
He said: “I’m not a brave guy, I’m not a tough guy, I just had to get home for my son.
“Weirdly, I think it gave me more confidence because I did survive it.”
Having previously owned bars in London, he now co-owns the Brighton Rocks Bar, Rock Place, and the Noble House in Portland Road, Hove, which opened about six months ago following a refurbishment costing more than £200,000.
He says a lot of people who come into the pub know about his background and are understanding about what he went through.
He said: “Brighton is such a great place, such a great mixture of people and very accepting.
“At the time I was depicted in the press as a posh, rich banker even though I’m a working-class guy from Glasgow.
“They slaughtered us, they |wrote about us like we were already guilty.
“I’m not that unusual here, many people have a story to them.”