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Former director of Imperial Consolidated jailed for fraud

A former director of an investment firm, Imperial Consolidated Group, which managed over £250m of investors’ funds has been jailed for three and a half years for his part in a global fraud.

William Godley, who admitted his involvement was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court today.

At one stage during the fraud Godley was paying himself up to £61,000 per month net of tax to fund his lavish lifestyle.

Godley, together with three other company executives, was charged in 2006 with a single count of conspiracy to defraud in an internationally promoted scheme thatattracted over £250m from approximately 3,000 investors.

Investors believed that their money would be used to finance a commercial loans business from which they would gain interest, however much of their money was used to fund the company’s own overheads. Investors were also told they were investing in profitable companies when in fact they were loss-making and in other instances investors’ money was used to buy into speculative mining interests which they knew nothing about. Investors’ were also given assurances that their capital was protected when this was not the case.

The fraud operated from premises on a former RAF station at Binbrook in Lincolnshire and the investigation was conducted with Lincolnshire Police.

An employee of the firm described how Godley entertained staff at casinos and even at an underwater restaurant.

Further evidence was given that Godley took his whole family and various members of the Bahamas office and some clients out to the most expensive restaurant in the Bahamas using the company’s credit card.

But when challenged about his spending Godley told a member of staff: “Don’t worry, I can put my hand in the till and take what I want”.

Godley pleaded guilty ahead of trial and sentencing was adjourned until the conclusion of proceedings against all defendants.

During the course of the first trial in 2008 and a retrial in 2010 the three other defendants were acquitted.

Godley has been disqualified from acting as a company director for six years.

Confiscation and compensation proceedings have been adjourned.

Sentencing Godley, Mrs Justice Gloster said: “On any basis this is a very serious fraud in which substantial sums of money have been lost by investors, many of
whom have suffered considerable hardship.”

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Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Any clients who have lost money should seek compensation via the adviser or advisers PI policy for not carrying out proper due diligence. Cases have been proven from the Ombudsman.

  2. Neil F Liversidge 5th August 2010 at 4:17 pm

    From 1995-2002 I was in charge of investment panels at DBS. Around 2000-2002 I was hassled by a number of DBS members eager to funnel money into Imperial Consolidated via a feeder fund of some sort which, if I recall correctly, Allied Dunbar was running. The whole thing looked like an obvious scam to me from the start and I refused to approve it for sale by the DBS membership, which got me a lot of abuse from the members concerned. This is the first I’ve heard of Imperial Consolidated since but it is no surprise to me to learn it was a scam after all. Why can so many people in our industry still not spot the obvious crooks when they come touting for business? Answer: GREED, pure and simple. And it’s still happening. One IFA (maybe the ‘I’ in IFA in his case should stand for ‘Idiot’) has several times tried pushing a mini-Madoff scam to me and other advisers in West Yorkshire over the last 18 months. And the FSA, so far as I know, still has done nothing…

  3. Philip Westwood 6th August 2010 at 10:18 am

    Mr Meadway – can you point me in the direction of the Ombudsman cases you mention?

    I am a victim of a similar scheme and have been fighting for years for redress without success. A reference to a similar case would be very useful.

    Many thanks.

  4. Likewise – I would be v interested in hearing of successful cases regarding Imperial Consolidated – I lost a small fortune thanks to the poor financial guidance of Proact(Formerly IFP Harrogate).

  5. R8ych
    Chubb were IFP’s PI insurers. You will need to have a letter from IFP Wealth Strategies proving you were advised by them and not IFP to allow you to claim against Chubb’s policy. Good Luck.

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