‘If only I could go back in time’: Britain’s Got Talent’s Francine Lewis reveals she was swindled out of £90,000 by fake stock brokers
Britain’s Got Talent star Francine Lewis has revealed how she lost her £90,000 earnings after being scammed by a fake stock broker company.
The comedian, 47, shot to fame on the ITV talent show with her hilarious impressions of celebrities in 2013 and made it all the way to the semi-finals.
She made a life-changing £90,000 during her time on the show and from subsequent tours and events.
Shocked: Britain’s Got Talent star Francine Lewis (pictured in 2019) has revealed how she lost her £90,000 earnings after being scammed by a fake stocks company
But the mother-of-two told The Sun she was swindled out of her earnings as well as money she had saved for her children by devious ‘brokers’.
Francine explained that her husband Joel, 43, had been looking into investment opportunities in 2018 when he heard about Fomax Capital.
After speaking with them, he was persuaded to put down a £500 low-stake investment before Francine and her father-in-law invested in what they thought was a respected stock brokers.
But Francine said they later realised that they had been scammed, and she vowed to never invest in a similar venture again after the fraud left her family devastated.
Impressions: The comedian, 47, shot to fame on the talent show (pictured) with her hilarious impressions of celebrities in 2013 and made it all the way to the semi-finals
She told The Sun: ‘I handed them all my kids’ money that I had been saving from when they were born, that for me was the worst part of it.’
The impressionist admitted that she had a ‘gut feeling’ that it was a scam but said they were so convincing that she ended up getting ‘suckered in’ herself.
Francine said her husband turned ‘white as a ghost’ when he realised that they had been swindled after he wasn’t able to get any of their money back and ‘collapsed’ from the stress.
She said she was stunned that the swindlers managed to trick her entire family as she recounted the ‘horrific’ ordeal.
‘You ask yourself ‘why, why, why did I do it?’. If only I could go back in time, if only I went with my gut,’ she added.
Fraud: But the mother-of-two (pictured in 2013) said she was swindled out of her £90,000 earnings as well as money she had saved for her children’s futures by devious ‘brokers’
The con artists even invited the married couple to visit their offices, as they had a registered address in London’s Canary Wharf – but were not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Francine said she was left unable to go on family holidays and had to cancel her son’s Bat Mitzvah, saying she now never buys anything online if she doesn’t know the company.
Speaking about how the scam affected her father-in-law, she said he had to continue to work despite his plans to retire because of the money he lost.
Francine rose to fame with her hilarious impressions of celebrities including Katie Price, Cheryl Cole and Stacey Solomon on Britain’s Got Talent in 2013.
Scam: Francine (pictured in October) said her husband Joel, 43, was looking into investment opportunities when he heard about Fomax Capital and they handed over their money
She won over BGT judges Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and Amanda Holden and made it all the way to the semi-final.
But she has previously admitted that she initially had reservations about auditioning for the ITV1 talent show.
Francine explained: ‘A researcher contacted me after seeing my stuff on YouTube and asked me to audition for the show.
‘I did have reservations because it’s the biggest show on TV and you don’t know how it’s going to go. But I am ready to come back into the business after having a long time off to raise my kids.
‘I wanted to be a stay at home mum but then I had the opportunity to do Very Important People [Channel 4 show] and had a very small part but it made me realise I was ready to come back. It could have gone either way for me.’
Lost: The impressionist (pictured in July 2020) admitted that she had a ‘gut feeling’ that it was a scam but said they were so convincing that she ended up getting ‘suckered in’ herself