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Rufus stood trial at Southwark Crown Court

Ex-Premier League star Richard Rufus jailed for defrauding friends and family of £15m

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A former Premier League star has been jailed after defrauding his friends and family members out of £15m.

Ex-Charlton Athletic player Richard Rufus was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years after he claimed to be a successful foreign exchange trader and convinced victims to invest in his “low-risk” scheme.

The 47-year-old was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday of fraud, money laundering and carrying out a regulated activity.

Authorities found he convinced his victims their investment would see returns of 60% a year.

Rufus used some of the £15m invested to pay back investors in a pyramid-style scheme – using funds from newer investors to pay back older ones – but used the rest to maintain a lifestyle of an elite professional footballer.

He falsely claimed to have made multi-million pound returns for a church and good returns for other footballers or ex-players, for whom he had invested funds but who he could not identify for confidentiality reasons.

The defender was forced into retirement in 2004 following a knee injury but continued to live in a five-bedroom house on a private estate in Purley, south London, as well as drive a Bentley and wear a Rolex watch.

Football - Stock , 24/8/02 Richard Rufus - Charlton Athletic Mandatory Credit:Action Images / Mick Walker

Richard Rufus pictured playing for Charlton Athletic in 2002. Pic: Action Images / Mick Walker

‘Investments fraught with risk’

Roger Makanjuola, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Rufus acted in a selfish manner without any concern for his victims.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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