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Nine convicted in £70m boiler room fraud

Scam believed to be largest boiler room fraud pursued by a UK authority

Two men have been convicted for their roles in a £70m boiler room fraud, believed to be the largest case of its kind pursued by a UK authority.

This brings to nine the number of people convicted in relation to the scam as following an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office the convictions last year of seven others can only now be fully reported.

Australian national Jeffrey Revell-Reade was last week convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud at Southwark Crown Court. Between 2003 and 2007, he masterminded a boiler room fraud which took £70m from over 1,000 UK investors.

The SFO says the individuals behind the fraud used its profits to fund “lavish lifestyles” featuring overseas properties, luxury yachts, wine collections and private jets.

Under the scheme, sales operations in Madrid sold shares in US-listed companies which turned out to be worthless.

Anthony May was also found guilty last week of one count of conspiracy to defraud. 

He administered the processing of shares to investors and managed the scam’s finances.

Revell-Reade and a third defendant, Robert Manning, were found not guilty of one charge of corruption arising from the conduct of the fraud.

In May 2013, six individuals were sentenced to between three and seven years in prison for conspiracy to defraud as a result of the same investigation. 

A seventh individual pleaded guilty to three counts of money laundering last year. She was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

SFO director David Green says: “The victims were deliberately charmed, lied to and bullied. The convictions mark the culmination of seven years’ hard work by a dedicated team of investigators, lawyers and accountants at the SFO, and close work with other agencies.”

Adviser view

Aj Somal, Aurora Financial Planning chartered financial planner 

“It is good to see convictions like this because they will act as a deterrent to similar crimes. But unfortunately, UK investors are still being conned so we need to see even more fraudsters being held to account.” 

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