Ex-wealth manager jailed for £278k friend con

Mr Lipton borrowed £40,000 from his father and £25,000 from his brother to make up the full £100,000 investment after being promised a place on the board.

Again Beesley failed to pass the money on to EGS and instead splashed out £69,000 in three months, with some going on a trip to New York.

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Both victims eventually contacted the Action Fraud helpline after Beesley failed to repay their money apart from around £10,000 he got by pawning his wife’s jewellery.

When arrested he claimed he told his friends that they were investing in his property business Athena rather than EGS and denied it was a scam.

He finally admitted fraud shortly before his trial was due to start last month and has since paid the remaining debt of £273,900 to his lawyers to pass on to the victims.

His barrister James Lefroy told the court that Beesley was a legitimate businessman and added: “They lived the lifestyle his family had come to expect and he wished to maintain that lifestyle and he was willing to take risks to do so.”

Judge Mark Lucraft QC sentenced him to two years and nine months imprisonment and said: “This was a calculated fraud on two acquaintances.

“Whatever may have been your motivations in terms of business it was designed to fund a lifestyle that could not be supported on the income you generated.

“You lied when challenged as to what was going on. This was a shocking abuse of friendship.”

Beesley admitted three counts of fraud by false representation and one count of supplying an article for use in fraud.

Mr Lipton said he hoped a prison sentence would “prevent him targeting other people and making their lives a misery as mine has been for the last three years.”