Seven men have been convicted at Ipswich Crown Court for their role in an £8m boiler room fraud.
The Spanish-based operation targeted thousands of investors in the UK through high pressure telesales techniques to push shares in a Worldwide Bio Refineries, a bio-diesel investment company.
The defendants are to be sentenced on September 23 and are remanded in custody.
WBR was formed in 2003. It had a processing plant in Co. Durham that was purported to produce diesel fuel from vegetable matter. It also had a plant in Singapore producing diesel intended to be marketed in the UK.
Dennis Potter who lived in Singapore was found guilty of conspiring to defraud investors in the company, his fellow company director Raymond Charles Johnson pleaded guilty to the same offence. Five others were found guilty of being conspirators in the fraud, they are Steven Paul Murphy, Greg Pearson, Paul Daniel Murphy and Lee Eliot Homan. Peter Bibby, who was based in south London, absconded before the trial and there is a warrant out for his arrest.
SFO director Richard Alderman says: “”This is an excellent result. Not only do boiler-room fraudsters prey on vulnerable people, they also deprive genuine businesses of the capital they need to grow. Quite bluntly, they ruin lives. I am delighted that the SFO is playing its part in tracking down operations like these and bringing fraudsters to book.”