A man is sentenced to five and a half years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme fraud in Sussex
Nicholas Peter Ford, 39, of Zurich, Switzerland, appeared at Chichester Crown Court on Thursday 1 May, and pleaded guilty to fraud by false accounting, by stealing some £1.3 million of investments he obtained from 18 members whilst running a spread betting syndicate between 2010 and 2011.
Ponzi scheme took £1.3 million and returned just £245,000
Afterwards Det. Sergt. Sally Smith said; “This was what is known as a ‘Ponzi‘ style fraud. In essence Ford took in £1.3 million from private investors, and paid out to them just £245,000. The money paid out was just to lure investors back into making even more investments. The majority if not all the money was lost in gambling, and he actually started gambling with investments two days after the first investment was made.
“He had previously worked for a legitimate investment company based in Surrey, and started this scam when he became self employed, having been made redundant. His previous employers in innocence helped him to compile his client list and their image has suffered severe damage as a result of Ford`s crimes.
“One lady lost her £20,000 life savings, and also brings up her disabled child as a one-parent family, and Ford was supposed to be her friend.
“We are now preparing a case for confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and that hearing is currently due to take place at the same court on 15 July. The amounts involved have yet to be confirmed.”