A man has been jailed for five years for a £1.3m investment fraud after pleading guilty at Chichester Crown Court.
He was sentenced to five years and four months imprisonment.
The prosecution, authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service, followed an investigation by the Major Fraud Unit of Sussex Police.
Detective Sergeant Sally Smith said; “This was what is known as a ‘Ponzi’ style fraud. In essence Ford took in £1.3 million from private investors, and paid out to them just £245,000. The money paid out was just to lure investors back into making even more investments. The majority if not all the money was lost in gambling, and he actually started gambling with investments two days after the first investment was made.
“Ford has had different addresses in the UK as well as in Switzerland, but was using a family address in Chichester when he was first reported to the police.
“He had previously worked for a legitimate investment company based in Surrey, and started this scam when he became self employed, having been made redundant. His previous employers in innocence helped him to compile his client list and their image has suffered severe damage as a result of Ford`s crimes.
“He then received investments from professional investors including one lady who lost her £20,000 life savings, and also brings up her disabled child as a one-parent family, Ford was supposed to be her friend.
“We are now preparing a case for confiscation of any remaining assets he may still have, under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and that hearing is currently due to take place at the same court on 15 July. The amounts involved have yet to be confirmed.”
The 18 sets of victims come from across the UK but none were living in Sussex.