A fake City of London foreign exchange investment firm led to the defrauding of investors of £50million ($61.7 million). The group deceived them with luxury offices and exclusive sponsorship deals at Chelsea Football Club.
Anthony Constantinou, the alleged owner of Capital World Markets Ltd., is being tried for seven offences, including fraud trading. CWM was accused of offering investors “remarkable returns” of 5% per monthly, but it was actually a Ponzi-style scheme that made no profits.
Prosecutors allege that Constantinou used client funds to fund his lifestyle, including his £2.5million wedding and the £70,000 first birthday party for his child. They claimed that hundreds of bogus investments were made, and that the total amount was over £50 million.
Constantinou denies all charges. When Constantinou was questioned by a lawyer, he declined to speak at Wednesday’s hearing at London’s Southwark Crown Court.
Prosecution lawyers claimed Constantinou’s scheme was made successful by lavish spending that was diverted away from the purported investments. Lawyers said that individual investors, including one from the Nepalese Gurkha Community, were impressed by the company’s luxurious London-based Heron Tower offices. These offices are now the Salesforce Tower ,, and sponsorship deals with Chelsea Football Club, and boxing tournaments.
David Durose, a prosecutor’s lawyer, stated at the hearing that the large amount of money spent on such spending was evidently a key factor in convincing investors that CWM is a high-performing business and not a cover for a massive fraud.