A “devious and clever” financial advisor who battered his Mayfair millionaire client to death after defrauding him out of £343,000 to fund a lifestyle of flash cars and expensive hotels, holidays and restaurants, is facing a life sentence after being convicted of murder today (29 November).
David Jeffs, 36, who was convicted in Croydon Crown Court of murdering wealthy socialite Roberto Troyan, 63, must wait to hear full details of his fate. Sentencing, when a judge will set a minimum tariff for the number of years he must serve has been adjourned to 10 December.
During the trial the court was told that the dead man had received a large inheritance from his late his civil partner, interior designer Anthony Feldman.
Mr Jeffs was convicted of murdering his client at the Mount Street address on 8 March 2013 and of defrauding him between March 2010 and December 2012.
He was employed by London and Weybridge, Surrey-based HFM Columbus, a partnership of financial and wealth management firms and invested £1.2m for Mr Troyan in an off-shore bank.
The jury were told he abused his client’s trust, buying himself two Lotus sports cars, blowing £19,500 in one night at lap dancing club Spearmint Rhino, and treating himself to “expensive” holidays in the USA, Mauritius and Ibiza.
There were also VIP rugby and polo events, stays at expensive hotels, meals at top restaurants, a £1,150 night at celebrity West End club Chinawhite and evidence of cocaine and ecstasy use, the court was told.
Mr Troyan, who suffered fatal head injuries, was one half of the first-ever civil partnership in the UK. His partner Mr Feldman’s clients included Princess Michael of Kent and Jonathan Aitken.
Mr Troyan was found on his kitchen floor by his cleaner and had suffered multiple skull fractures, a fractured jaw, cheek and eye-socket and had inhaled blood into his airways. He is said to have spent his ex-partner’s inheritance on cocaine parties at the flat and was known to have had several lovers.
CCTV evidence showed Mr Jeffs spent 15 minutes inside the flat after being buzzed in and afterwards bought identical clothes and cleaned-up his Lotus car and himself at a petrol station.
He told police there was no answer at Mr Troyan’s door, but after the deceased’s blood was found on his briefcase he claimed to have had a confrontation on the landing with an unidentified third man he claimed was probably a “rent boy” or “angry pimp”.
The court heard Mr Troyan had voiced his dissatisfaction with Mr Jeffs to his housekeeper and was becoming concerned about his investments and cash flow. His rental lease was due for renewal on 9 March and he had arranged to meet Mr Jeffs the day before so cash could be withdrawn to meet the expense.
Mr Jeffs told police he was Mr. Troyan’s £1,000 a week “financial concierge” and had been paid two years salary in advance.