Ravi Shankar Sinha should be grateful to Mr Fred Goodwin. Had the Forfeiture Committee’s decision not popped out on Tuesday, Sinha would have been catching the flak instead. His case is much less important, but a good deal more bizarre than the implosion of RBS. Nobody is accusing Fred of fraud, but the FSA is in no doubt. Sinha ran a “fraudulent invoicing scheme” to net himself £1.367 million.

There are some strange aspects to this tale. Sinha was the UK boss of JC  Flowers, a private equity firm with $8 billion under management. He had to rub along on a basic $1.2 million, but this wasn’t enough to meet his bank loan commitments when things went south in 2008. He hit on a simple wheeze, to invoice a company which was controlled by Flowers, telling the boss that Flowers had authorised the payment. Four phoney invoices later, he had skimmed 1,548,396 euros.

Banged to rights (sadly, the FSA does not say how the scam was discovered, except that Flowers ‘fessed up as soon as it found out)  Sinha is not really sorry. Indeed, he thinks the FSA has been jolly unfair, and has constructed an ingenious defence along the following lines: since I was going to get more than this amount from my carried interest in the company, I’ve really lost money, and besides, had I asked for permission to send the invoices, it would have been granted.

Well, you can’t fault his chutzpa, even if the logic leaves something to be desired. The other curious aspect is the suggestion that disgorgement and a fine should be enough to close the affair. The FSA says it “does not prosecute general fraud” and if a wronged party is reluctant to cooperate, the police have a tough job in constructing their case. Flowers’s response to the FT is curious: “had the police chosen to launch a criminal investigation, JC Flowers would have been happy to co-operate fully. That remains true today.”

If the police do not take up this offer, it will reinforce the impression that there is one law for the bosses and another for lowly staff who commit fraud. That would further undermine dwindling public acceptance of the magnificent sums those at the top of financial institutions award themselves. Over to you, PC Plod.