Court hears what happened to Arck cash

Court hears what happened to Arck cash

A ‘deluded’ conman who swindled £50m from investors and blew the cash on cars, holidays and even a yacht, is set to pay back less than £350,000.

Richard Clay, 51, promised investors that their money would be put into offshore property development schemes, and that their original investment sum was safe.

In reality, he either spent the money on his lavish lifestyle or ploughed it into various other projects – all of which were haemorrhaging money.

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Clay is said to have personally made almost £5m from the scam.

He and his partner Kathryn Clark, 53, used marketing company Arck LLP to push unregulated financial products on individuals and IFAs.

A confiscation hearing at Southwark Crown Court on 18 June determined that Clay must repay £344,244.07 of the £4.87m he made.

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith ordered that if the funds weren’t paid back in full within the next three months he would face an added three years behind bars.

Investors handed over millions of pounds which they thought would be used to fund building projects, including a golf resort on the paradise archipelago of Cape Verde, off the northwest coast of Africa.

Arck took £47.5m between 2006 and 2011 – which Clay either used to fund his spending habit or his doomed business ventures.

Jailing Clay in October, Judge Loraine-Smith said: “No sooner is other people’s money under your control, you start treating it as your own.”

Clark was spared jail on the grounds she had been subject to extreme “emotional manipulation” by Clay throughout their relationship.

Clay was said to have effectively had the mindset of a gambler who had the unshakeable belief his next investment, his next scheme, would provide a windfall.

He spent 11 years in South Africa between 1994 and 2005, and has been subject to an arrest warrant from the South African police for more than a decade.

Arck, which is now in liquidation, created and marketed investment products focusing on overseas off-plan property in the very early stages of the design and planning process.

Clay of Belper, Derbyshire, made a profit of £4.87m and must pay back £275,000 in 21 days, and a further £69,244.07 in three months, or face three additional years in prison.