Made in Chelsea star Georgia Toffolo has been spending time with a wealthy aristocrat and former adviser to Nigel Farage who served time in a US jail for offering to launder money for drug lords, MailOnline can reveal.
The I’m a Celebrity winner is rumoured to be dating George Cottrell, known by Farage’s advisers as ‘Posh George’ whose family are said to be worth £300million.
Friends say former 25-year-old Toffolo has been dating millionaire Cottrell, 25, for just over a month after meeting him at a social event.
Made in Chelsea star Georgia Toffolo is rumoured to be dating to be dating shamed banker George Cottrell (pictured), whose family are said to be worth £300million
Cottrell (pictured) is a former adviser to Nigel Farage who served time in a US jail for offering to launder money for drug lords, MailOnline can reveal
They describe the two as now being an ‘item’ who spend a considerable amount of time together at his £2.5million flat in west London while also enjoying weekend breaks at the Cottrell family pile in Worcestershire.
‘George is quite a character and a charmer, he has a real way with words,’ a friend told MailOnline.
Cottrell was spectacularly arrested in 2016 and led away in handcuffs by FBI agents
His relationship with Georgia is well known to their friends and families, it’s not something they are trying to hide. They are out in public a lot, doing normal things that couples do, like going shopping or going for dinner.
‘I’m surprised nobody has realised until now who George is but I’m sure Georgia knows about his background. He’s got quite a chequered history, having spent time in prison and is very high profile, given his connections to Farage. You could say that George is your typical upper class rogue.’
Cottrell studied at the exclusive £40,000 a year Malvern College. He is the nephew of Lord Hesketh, a hereditary peer and former Conservative Party treasurer who defected to UKIP in 2011.
Cottrell’s mother, Fiona is the daughter of Lord Manton, a wealthy Yorkshire farmer and landowner who died in 2003. She once dated Prince Charles and was the Penthouse ‘pet of the month’ in October 1973, under the pseudonym Frances Cannon, describing herself as ‘daughter of a landowner’. His wealthy businessman father Mark, attended Gordonstoun with Prince Andrew.
Friends say former Made in Chelsea star Toffolo has been dating Cottrell for just over a month after meeting him at a social event
Georgia and George spent Thursday afternoon together in the sunshine as the pair went shopping in London
Georgia has reportedly spent a considerable amount of time together at his £2.5million flat in west London while also enjoying weekend breaks at the Cottrell family pile in Worcestershire
After leaving school early and not going on to university, Cottrell entered into a career in private banking where he became known for having a canny eye for making money on stock markets and currency trading. He shot to prominence during the Brexit campaign, working for Farage for free and becoming a trusted member of his inner circle.
Cottrell was spectacularly arrested and led away in handcuffs by FBI agents in July 2016 while with Farage, who maintained afterwards that he did not know about his background, at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.
They were returning to London after attending the Republican National Convention where they also met with Donald Trump’s aides, just three weeks after the Brexit vote.
He spent eight months in a US jail after advertising his services on the ‘dark web’, offering to launder the money through his offshore accounts to what he thought was a gang of drug traffickers. They were actually FBI agents carrying out an undercover operation.
Before his arrest, Cottrell ran Farage’s private office, handled all media enquiries for the former UKIP leader and was also one of his closest aides, playing a key role in the Brexit campaign.
Cottrell spent eight months in a US jail after advertising his services on the ‘dark web’, offering to launder the money through his offshore accounts to what he thought was a gang of drug traffickers. They were actually FBI agents carrying out an undercover operation
Before his arrest, Cottrell ran Farage’s private office, handled all media enquiries for the former UKIP leader and was also one of his closest aides, playing a key role in the Brexit campaign
Court documents at the time of his arrest in America show that Cottrell exchanged messages from London with FBI agents masquerading as drug dealers in Phoenix through an encrypted platform called Cryptocat. They said that they wanted to launder around £40,000 to £120,000 in drug money each month.
The documents stated that Cottrell, using the alias Bill, told the agents that he could do this for them anonymously via his offshore accounts and met with what he thought was drug dealers in Las Vegas in 2014.
Cottrell then told the undercover agents to send £15,500 to an associate in Colorado who would move the money into his bank accounts before transferring it back to them. The court indictment claimed that Cottrell intended to pocket the money.
About a week later, Cottrell threatened to report the money laundering and drug trafficking to authorities unless the agents agreed to pay him 130 bitcoin, at the time worth £62,000.
Cottrell said in his plea agreement during his March 2017 hearing that he ‘explained various ways criminal proceeds could be laundered,’ including ways to transfer large amounts of cash out of the United States to avoid reporting requirements and disguising proceeds from criminal activity as legitimate business income for tax purposes.
The court documents also claimed that Cottrell had a ‘serious, years-long gambling problem, which inherently suggests a strong possibility of irrational risk taking’.