Former IFA admits to running Ponzi scheme

Former IFA admits to running Ponzi scheme

A former IFA has admitted running a £4m Ponzi fraud while at the helm of a gambling company.

David Dixon, 49, masterminded the massive swindle between 2004 and 2007 through his companies Arboretum Sports (UK) Limited and Arboretum Sports (USA) Inc.

The fraudster convinced people to plough cash into his arbitrage betting schemes and used new investor money to pay off his old clients.

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He also lured in new cash by flogging bogus shares for a casino to be built in Singapore by claiming the project had links with Las Vegas casino giant MGM Mirage.

Clients were offered options in MGM Mirage and shares in Arboretum, which he promised would soar in value to £161,958 by October 2007 and to £3,198,822 by October the following year.

John Hardy QC, for the Serious Fraud Office, confirmed the approximate value of the fraud was £4m.

Dixon, who was extradited from Malaysia, appeared at Southwark Crown Court in a pea-green t-shirt with a white slogan and navy tracksuit bottoms.

The balding defendant spoke in a clear voice to admit a charge of dishonestly concealing a material fact, three charges of making a misleading statements or promises and a further charge of fraud by false representation.

The charges arose from a joint investigation by the SFO and Hampshire Constabulary following the collapse of Arboretum Sports.

He was extradited from Malaysia following the SFO charges and has been in custody at HMP Wandsworth.

They had unsuccessfully attempted to set up various interviews with him around the Middle East, including proposing to meet in North Korea.

Dixon, of Selangor, Malaysia, was remanded in custody ahead of sentence on 22 April at Southwark Crown Court.

Four additional charges of contravening the prohibition on carrying on a regulated activity, a count of concealing criminal property, a charge of converting criminal property were not put to the defendant.

Charges of removing criminal property and fraudulent trading were also not put to Dixon.

The charges will be left to lie on file.