Former footballer arrested for defrauding investors of £15m using the name of Rio Ferdinand

Richard Rufus is in the Supreme Court today.  A former Prime Minister's football player gets 'one last chance' to avoid a lengthy corporate director ban, Supreme Court heard today - Javier Casado/Central News

Richard Rufus is in the Supreme Court today. A former Prime Minister’s football player gets ‘one last chance’ to avoid a lengthy corporate director ban, Supreme Court heard today – Javier Casado/Central News

Disgraced former Premier League star Richard Rufus has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for defrauding his family and friends of £15m to maintain his lavish lifestyle.

The former Charlton Athletic centre-back, who was once the club’s greatest defender ever, was convicted on Thursday at Southwark Crown Court after being found guilty of four counts of fraud and one regulated legal action last month through false statements and money laundering. unauthorized activity.

Rufus jailed for being 48 years oldpearl On his birthday, he convinced 100 of his closest and favorite people, including former football player Paul Elliott, to invest in the fraudulent currency scheme, claiming that the likes of then-England star Rio Ferdinand had already done so.

While sentencing, Judge Dafna Spiro told him: “The victims of this scam are offended by your actions.

“People who invested it did so in good faith, they believed your talk because they thought you were the real deal. You were robbing Peter to pay Paul and living a lie at the expense of others.”

Prosecutor Lucy Organ said: “He defrauded his friends, family and associates millions of pounds by pretending he could offer a low-risk investment in the foreign exchange market.

“He claimed to have had significant success with his strategy in the past. “Mr. Rufus received a total of over £15m. As I said before, he traded some of it, losing huge sums, but that wasn’t the end of the scam.

“He never transferred nearly £2m of that money into his foreign exchange trading accounts. He used this money in part to supplement the losses caused by his scams, and repaid other investors so they could continue to act as if they were making a good investment.

It’s a so-called pyramid scheme, and partly for his own benefit, treating the money he receives from investors as his own.”

‘They thought you were real’

Detective Constable Claire Sandford-Day of the City of London Police fraud operations team said:: “Rufus deliberately deceived those close to him and those who trusted him, and swindled them out of substantial sums of money.

“He used his status as a former football player to make it seem like he was leading a rich life as a result of his former career and investments, while in reality he was not making a profit from his trading activities and was using the money. to pay for the lifestyle of its victims.

He spent around £300,000 on shopping, car financing, travel and restaurants, according to an analysis of Rufus’ spending during his investment plan.

Investors got back about £7.6m of the £15m paid into Rufus-controlled accounts.

As a result of the scam, friendships and loyalties between friends were shattered, and many of Rufus’ victims suffered major financial and mental health problems.

Among the lies Rufus told friends and family was that he did not need a license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as there was an exemption that allowed him to trade on behalf of his friends and family.

In his original interview, carefully conducted by the City of London Police in July 2015, Rufus gave a prepared statement stating that he had done nothing wrong and that his actions were “well-intentioned”.

He did not comment on all the questions asked afterwards.

Rufus’s disgrace was sealed almost a quarter of a century later, after what was probably his greatest moment.

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