An Australian ringleader and his British co-conspirators have been found guilty of defrauding investors of more than $117 million in the UK’s biggest boiler-room prosecution, the Serious Fraud Office said.
Jeffrey Revell-Reade, 49, was convicted last week of leading a conspiracy that cheated more than 1,000 investors who were sold shares in companies that didn’t exist.
The gang took in $117 million running the scam from offices in Madrid from 2003 to 2007, the SFO said.
Revell-Reade used his share of the profits to buy luxury homes, yachts, private jets, art, and vintage wine collections.
“Over 1,000 UK investors were defrauded by these criminals, who caused substantial financial damage and hardship. The victims were deliberately charmed, lied to and bullied — whatever it took to make them send their money to these criminals,” SFO Director David Green said.
An accomplice, Anthony May, 58, who moved from Switzerland and Spain, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud for his role in distributing the shares to investors and managing offshore bank accounts.
Another accomplice, Robert Manning, 63, a UK citizen, was acquitted of one charge of corruption.
Six other UK citizens who ran the boiler rooms in Madrid were sentenced to between three and seven years in prison.
Legal restrictions preventing the reporting of their convictions were lifted following the outcome of Wednesday’s trials.
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The SFO said six defendants “formed the senior management and operations team for three Madrid boiler rooms and conspired with Revell-Reade and May to defraud investors with or though the entities Tresaderns & Partners SL, Price Stone Group SL and Anderson McCormack SL.”
They were arrested between 2007 and 2009 and charged in 2010.
The SFO listed details and sentences as follows:
Daniel Gooding, 39, from Brentwood, Essex – 7 years in custody
Shaun David Rumsey, 33, from Basildon, Essex – 5 years in custody
Philip Morris, 38, from Biddenden, Kent – 5 years in custody
Jon Steven Frank Emery, 36, from Romford, Essex – 5 years in custody
Ian Hughes, 34, from Hainault, Essex – 4 years in custody
Emma Farmer, 41, from Brentwood, Essex – 3 years in custody
A seventh defendant, Michelle Coleman, 62, from Brentwood, Essex pleaded guilty to three counts of money laundering. “The total laundered sum was £252,425 ($423,000) of which £158,000 ($265,000) was retained by Coleman personally,” the SFO said.
Following her plea, Coleman was sentenced to 21 months in prison, to be suspended for two years.
“A confiscation hearing concerning Coleman is scheduled to begin this month, while confiscation hearings for Gooding, Rumsey, Morris, Emery, Hughes and Farmer are scheduled to begin in August,” the SFO said.
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