Joseph Lewis, a 65-year old foreign exchange trader running a massive international investment scam, has pleaded guilty to his crimes in a United Kingdom court, the Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) announced today.
He admitted his involvement in the £20.5 million Ponzi scheme for the past decade, and he has duped many people across the globe who were of the illusion that he was investing their funds in foreign exchange trading.
“Lewis netted a huge amount of money from people who came from all walks of life and believed it was a good use of their savings and pensions,” Anamarie Coomansingh of the CPS said in a statement.
“Many of these investors have suffered significant losses because of their involvement with Lewis’ scheme and it is clear that he manipulated a lot of people with the false picture he painted of his ‘trading’.”
Against the investments to the fraudulent scheme, the clients received fake monthly reports showing that their funds are accumulating extensive returns from trading. This also encouraged them to invest more and even recommend Lewis’ services to ‘family and friends’.
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Lewis transferred the funds to his personal accounts and spent them in ‘funding his lifestyle, paying back early investors in his scheme and making risky investments which failed’.
Rise of Conscience?
He surrendered himself to the police after sending an email to his clients, admitting that he had not invested any of the funds since 2009. Today, he pleaded guilty to 19 fraud offences.
“Lewis is an extremely manipulative and dishonest man,” Detective Sergeant Lee Nelson, from the City of London Police, added. “He knew his victims were investing money to save towards retirement or to make a better life for their young family, and instead he used their money to fund his own extravagant lifestyle.”
The authorities are now trying to identify Lewis’ assets to compensate the victims.
Investment frauds like this are rampant all over the world and regulators are actively warning investors to verify the services beforehand. Finance Magnates earlier reported about a victim of such fraud who lost over half-a-million dollars.