For 24 year old fraudster Daniel Burgoyne, the nouveau-riche lifestyle of champagne, Rolex watches, cigars and visits to a casino was short lived.
Mr. Burgoyne, from Folkestone, Kent in England, was jailed for two years at Canterbury Crown Court for operating a confidence trick which duped 18 investors out of £75,000 on the premise that he would invest the money via his two firms, Elite Broker Company and Elite Commodity Markets, which he claimed were based at the prestigious Tower 42 in the heart of London’s financial district.
In reality, Mr. Burgoyne was a trainee butcher, who resided with his mother in relatively modest circumstances by contrast to his aspirations of life in London’s Square Mile.
The scheme involved Mr. Burgoyne having convinced future investors that he was investing in alternative commodities such as wine, or diamonds, for which he promised, according to prosecutor Jim Harvey, unrealistic returns.
According to a report by the Daily Mail today, police found evidence he blew more than £56,000 on the ‘high life’ until he was caught.
Judge Simon James handed down his sentence, concluding that “This was a sophisticated deception in which just £10,000 of the £80,000 you received was actually invested – and even then not in anything which would produce proper returns for the investors.”
The former Canterbury College student boasted of the high life on Facebook, where he posted pictures of wads of £20 notes, gambling chips, a Rolex watch and a black BMW. In one image he was smoking a cigar while holding a glass of Champagne, while in others he flashed giant bottles of fizz and casino chips for 1,000 Euros in a casino in Malta.
Records showed he bought just one diamond at £1,481, and £2,130 worth of wine, but the salesman paid himself £20,947 in dividends, transferred £7,498 to his personal account and withdrew nearly £28,00 in cash.
He also blew £1,500 gambling and £1,115 at pubs, restaurants and hotels and police seized £27,427 from his account before it could be spent.
Anthony Abell, defending, said Burgoyne achieved 12 GCSE with ‘average grades’, and two A-levels with poor grades.
“He never went to university but has one NVQ in business studies and he has been living with his mother as a lodger” said Mr Abell.
“As a teenager he began working at a butchers and intended to make his way in that trade” he continued. Mr. Abell further stated that Mr. Burgoyne claimed he was ‘headhunted’ by a company trading in carbon credits and when it went bust started his own company dealing in the credits.
Detective Sergeant Adrian Brown from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “One investor, from the Folkestone area, had recently parted with £32,917.24 to buy a diamond.”
“The man was told it would increase in value by 1.9 per cent every month – but would be kept in Switzerland for tax reasons.”
“In passing sentence, the judge described the companies as a sophisticated deception, and a fraudulent enterprise from the outset. For the five months he had been operating, Mr. Burgoyne had been living the high life. Photos from his social media account showed him sipping Champagne and smoking expensive cigars. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind anyone receiving cold calls offering investments which sound too good to be true to be suspicious. Do not feel pressured into parting with your money without first seeking independent financial advice.”