ScamsMay 23 2023

Ponzi-style £70mn investment scheme fraudster found guilty

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Ponzi-style £70mn investment scheme fraudster found guilty
(Pexels/Sora Shimazaki)

A man who ran a £70mn Ponzi-style investment scheme has been found guilty of fraud after promising investors a 60 per cent annual return on their money.

Anthony Constantinou, 41, of no fixed address, ran Capital World Markets between late 2013 and early 2015.

Investors were told there was an initial minimum investment of £50,000, rising to £100,000 later on, and told they would receive returns of 5 per cent per month, with an additional cut if they had introduced other investors to the company. 

They were told 10 per cent of their capital would be risked, with the remaining 90 per cent held safely in a ‘segregated account’ in Germany. 

The money was not invested in the foreign exchange market as promised, and was instead partly used to pay back other investors. 

An investigation into Constantinou began in 2014, with officers at the City of London Police deciding to stop the scheme before it collapsed to preserve as much money as possible from investors and to stop further people falling victim to the fraud.

The investigation showed extravagant spending of clients’ funds, including £3mn spent by Constantinou on events such as his own wedding and the company’s launch party.

He denied knowledge of the fraud and did not attend the later stages of his trial, and an international arrest warrant has been issued to locate him.

Constantinou will be sentenced in his absence on June 9.

Detective Inspector Nichola Meghji, of the City of London Police, said this has been a long-running and complex investigation.

“Anthony Constantinou is a career criminal who is out to make as much money for himself as possible, with no regard for anyone else.

“Throughout this lengthy investigation, Constantinou has continued to try to deceive officers and deny any wrongdoing. In a further move to deny any involvement in this case, he decided to stop attending his trial.

“We are glad that the jury has seen through his lies and unanimously found him guilty.”