Scams  

Fraudster jailed for three years over Ponzi scheme

Fraudster jailed for three years over Ponzi scheme
 

A man has been sentenced to three years and four months in prison after defrauding clients out of £1mn.

Anthony Vernon Parker, 59, was jailed at Leicester Crown Court yesterday (January 5) after pleading guilty to one count of fraud by false representation and one count of participating in a fraudulent business.

The charges come after an investigation in which 42 victims were referred to Leicestershire Police.

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Between January 2011 and March 2018, Parker claimed to be an investment manager and told clients he would invest their money in a controlled gambling scheme involving currency trading and the stock market, known as spread-betting.

He told clients, which included his friends and family, and others by word-of-mouth, that this was ‘virtually risk free’, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.

In reality it was a Ponzi scheme, in which clients invested £3.4mn with Parker, who was sentenced on the basis of a total amount of unrecoverable losses from 20 victims amounting to £1.09mn.

Parker’s accounts show that hundreds of thousands of pounds of his clients’ money was spent on clothing, rent, credit card repayments, pubs and restaurants and Amazon goods, among other things. He had no other source of income.

Jane Mitchell, specialist prosecutor for the CPS, said: “Parker acted with greed to convince dozens of victims to part with their own money under the pretence that he would be using it to make smart investments for them.

“Many of these investors have suffered significant losses because of their involvement with Parkers’ scheme and he manipulated a large number of people who trusted him with the false picture he painted of his ‘trading.’”

Mitchell added that the CPS wants to encourage all those who think they have been a victim of an investment scam to come forward and report it.

sally.hickey@ft.com