A Doncaster businessman behind a £800,000 investment fraud which reportedly conned England and Chelsea star Gary Cahill out of £1 million has been jailed for eight and a half years and slapped with a ten year business ban.
Stewart Groves, 37, of Bawtry, has been disqualified for ten years after misappropriating £800,000 of one of his client’s investments.
And in a separate crown court trial in Sheffield, crooked financial advisor Groves, has been sent to prison after being found him guilty of fraud by misrepresentation.
Earlier this month, The Sun reported that Chelsea and England star Cahill, 33, was conned out of £1 million by Groves who had offered the defender his services but had deposited the cash in his own bank accounts.
.Earlier this year, Lincoln County Court made a disqualification order banning Groves from being a director of a limited company for 10 years.
As the director of Rapid Finance Ltd, the court heard that the company was set-up to make investments on behalf of a single investor.
With an initial investment of half-a-million pounds, Groves managed the company under a shareholder and loan agreement.
However, the court ordered the company be wound up in September 2015 following petitions by the sole investor, which triggered further investigations by the Insolvency Service.
Investigators revealed that instead of making legitimate investments, Groves transferred a significant proportion of the money he was trusted to invest into his own accounts.
To cover his tracks, he twice supplied false reports to the investor, including falsified bank statements and accounts, so that they believed he was investing as agreed. These reports encouraged further investments of more than £300,000.
Over the course of two years, more than £800,000 was invested in the company and more than £700,000 of it was transferred to accounts belonging to him and connected parties, without the investor being made aware.
The court banned Groves for 10 years from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.
Gerard O’Hare, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Stewart Groves intentionally misled the company’s sole investor into believing his funds were being invested securely and the false reports supplied even lead to more money being provided.
“This behaviour will not be tolerated and this ban should serve as a warning to other directors tempted to act in a similar way that they have a duty to act in the best interests of the company – not themselves.”
There has been a separate criminal investigation into Stewart Groves by South Yorkshire Police that found him guilty of fraud by misrepresentation and has led to an eight-and-a-half-year prison term.