Photo: Daily Mail
Terry Freeman has been dubbed the British Madoff. His ponzi swindled only ~$22 million, which obviously pales in comparison to Bernie’s figures, but his victims could number at least 700.And today he admitted to the scam in court, the Daily Mail reports.
Now he has to wear an electronic monitoring tag until he gets sentenced in February.
Freeman was arrested at his home back in 2009.
His scheme duped Premier League soccer players and police officers, who he assured after the Madoff scandal broke in the U.S that their money was safe.
Freeman promised incredible no-risk returns on the foreign exchange markets through his company, GFX Capital. One victim said, “Literally people were fighting to get in on the scheme, it seemed like such a good investment.”
With his client’s cash, Freeman bought holiday homes in France and Cyprus, luxury vacactions, $187,000 diamond rings for his third wife, luxury cars and first class flights around the globe for his family.
Apparently he could have stolen up to ~$36 million but so far only 335 of his 700 victims have come forward to make claims.
And he has a crazy story.
Firstly, it turns out Freeman, who was born Terry Sparks, was a serial conman who had already been jailed for fraud (he spent over four years in jail back in the 90s), and been declared bankrupt three times before he started taking investor money.
In fact he changed his name after he got out of jail so he could start his new trading firm.
Secondly, his only financial expertise came “from reading self-help books bought on Amazon.” Amazing.
After reading up how to be a trader, he then wooed investors at country clubs and luxury boxes at soccer stadiums all over England.
Things began to unravel when in Lehman collapsed. He had bought heavily into the bank because he though the government would bail it out. But we know what happened. And the half of the total value of the fund went up in smoke.
Freeman initially managed to cover up his crimes by moving funds around trading accounts and issuing false statements telling investors they were making 12 per cent profits.
He even sent his clients an e-mail reassuring them that their money was completely safe after the massive collapse of the Madoff fraud.
But his investors began to get suspicious and began demanding their money back. Some of the clients were allegedly north London gangsters who threatened to Freeman after he couldn’t repay the cash.
So Freeman called the cops – triggering an investigation into himself instead.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.