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City trader jailed after admitting large scale investment fraud

Member: Nifa

A City trader who defrauded more than 300 victims of up to fourteen million pounds has been jailed for eight years.

Sentencing 63-year old Terry Freeman, Southwark Crown Court heard how investors handed over hundreds of thousands of pounds to his company GFX Capital believing they were likely to receive big financial returns.

Instead, said the Prosecution, they were funding Freeman’s lavish lifestyle.

The disgraced trader had previously pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading and a number of other offences.

Passing sentence, Judge Christopher Hardy said the matter was "one of the most serious cases of this type I’ve had to deal with in this court".

He told Freeman, of Kings Place, Horsham, West Sussex: "You were not dealing with big institutions, but ordinary hard-working men and women and their families who trusted you to invest their hard-earned life savings, pensions and inheritance and the like, and for them in reality all is likely to have been lost."

The fraud came to light after Freeman bought heavily into American investment bank Lehman Brothers, which subsequently collapsed, losing him and his clients millions of pounds.

In a victim impact statement read to the Court, roofing contractor Peter Beeson said he had lost six hundred thousand pounds worth of investments, ruining his plans for early retirement and preventing him helping his two daughters get on the property ladder.

Another victim, Barbara Shapero, said that she had felt confident enough to entrust her money to Freeman after finding him registered on the Financial Services Authority website.

Around 4.4 million pounds has been recovered through a civil settlement spearheaded by action groups, but there remains a shortfall of around 9.6 million.

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