British forex boss convicted for $62mln Ponzi-style fraud

·1-min read

By Sam Tobin

LONDON (Reuters) - A British foreign exchange company boss who used investors' cash to fund a luxury lifestyle was convicted in a London court over his role in a 50 million pound ($62 million) Ponzi-style scheme.

Anthony Constantinou was found guilty on Monday of one count of fraud by false representation, two counts of fraudulent trading and four counts of transferring criminal property, City of London Police said in a statement.

The 41-year-old, who had pleaded not guilty to all charges, skipped bail in April and the trial at London's Southwark Crown Court continued in his absence. Constantinou could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Constantinou ran Capital World Markets (CWM), which offered a 5% monthly return on investments. Prosecutors told the court that investors were lured by CMW's high-end City of London offices and high-profile sports sponsorship deals, including with Premier League soccer club Chelsea.

But the fraud unravelled in March 2015 when CWM was raided by police, prosecutors told Constantinou's trial.

Investigators discovered he had spent CWM's money renting a six-bedroom mansion and paying for private flights and lavish parties, including 2.5 million pounds on his wedding on the Greek island of Santorini.

Constantinou was recently arrested in Bulgaria with fake identity documents but was released and remains at large, the court heard last week.

Judge Gregory Perrins said he would sentence Constantinou in his absence on June 9.

(Reporting by Sam Tobin; Editing by Alexander Smith)