Hedge fund manager blew investors’ cash on £4m mansion and sportscars

Benjamin Wilson arrives for his fraud hearing at Southwark Crown Court back in 2014

A hedge fund manager who duped investors out of £22million and blew it on a champagne lifestyle has been ordered to forfeit his £30,000 inheritance or face an extra 14 months in jail.

Benjamin Wilson, 39, squandered £6.27million, including £160,000 on a Ferrari California, £200,000 on horse racing and £85,000 on gambling trips to Las Vegas.

He also splashed out on a luxury £4million mansion in Poole, spending £500,000 on refurbishments including an indoor swimming pool and five en-suite bedrooms.

Wilson frittered away another £100,000 on shopping sprees and £75,000 golfing on some of the world’s most exclusive courses.

Following his conviction, the Ponzi fraudster claimed he was penniless and was subsequently ordered to pay back just £1 of the fortune he ripped off.

But the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) applied for a re-calculation of his assets in light of his £177,000 inheritance following the death of his parents.

The FCA applied to seize £31,905.33 Wilson inherited as a lump sum pension payout from the John Lewis Partnership through his mother’s estate.

When his father died in 2014, the pot transferred to his mother who then nominated Wilson and his two brothers as beneficiaries when she died.

The FCA submitted that Wilson had an interest in the estate and that the sum should be included in a re-calculation of any available amount he can repay.

Wilson also stands to gain from a one-third share of his mother’s £436,000 fortune.

Judge Michael Grieve, who jailed the fund manager for seven years over the ‘utterly shameless’ con back in 2014, branded Wilson’s attempts at disclaiming his interest in the estate a ‘sham’.

He said the fraudster and his brother ‘concocted’ a letter relinquishing his share after the court ordered his accounts to be frozen.

They then ‘backdated’ it to ‘deliberately mislead’ the FCA by making it appear as though it had been filed before their mother’s death and that the money was exempt from confiscation.

Wilson, 39, squandered £6.27million, including £160,000 on a Ferrari California (stock photo), £200,000 on horse racing and £85,000 on gambling trips to Las Vegas

Wilson, 39, squandered £6.27million, including £160,000 on a Ferrari California (stock photo), £200,000 on horse racing and £85,000 on gambling trips to Las Vegas

Judge Grieve therefore ordered Wilson to pay the £31,905.33 within 28 days or face an extra 14 months in jail.

A similar order in relation to his approximate £145,000 share of his mother’s estate is likely to follow in the coming months once the assets have been properly distributed by his brother.

During the fraud, Wilson forged the signature of author Terry Pratchett, copying it from Google Images, in phony accounts for his company SureInvestment.

He claimed the company was worth $100million.

The Swansea University business and economics graduate, who once boasted of being ‘handsome and rich’ on his Facebook profile, promised investors huge returns.

But he invested just 20 per cent of his victims’ cash with brokers – some £4million, of which 40 per cent which was lost.

Wilson recruited friends, friends of friends and members of his local golf club into handing over funds to his scheme, SureInvestment.

Victims of the ‘utterly shameless’ ‘Ponzi’ scheme included professional rugby player, Charles Amesbury, who invested £25,000.

Wilson, formerly of Verwood, Dorset, was ordered to repay £31,905.33 within 28 days or face a default 14-month prison sentence.

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