Ponzi scheme businessman jailed for over three years

9 August 2010

A businessman who admitted managing a Ponzi investment scheme which defrauded almost 3,000 investors has been jailed for three and a half years.

William Godley, former director of Imperial Consolidated Group, duped investors into providing the firm with capital which they thought would be used to finance a business dealing with commercial loans, the UK's Serious Fraud Office explained.

However, instead the money was used to fund the executive’s lavish lifestyle, where during certain points he was paying himself £61,000 per month.

Mr Godley pleaded guilty to the crime, for which he received a fine as well as a six-year ban from working as a company director.

Justice Gloster said, "On any basis this is a very serious fraud in which substantial sums of money have been lost by investors, many of whom have suffered considerable hardship".

She added: "Were it not for your guilty plea the starting point would have been seven years."

Imperial Consolidated Group managed more than £250 million worth of investor funds.

The scheme was managed from an ex-RAF base in Lincolnshire in the UK.

By Jim Ottewill

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