Jonathan Allard estimated to have swindled £4 million from his victims
Jonathan 'Lord' Allard. Picture: Met Police
May 24, 2023
A 39-year-old man from Wandsworth has been jailed for seven years and two months for his part in a £4million investment scam.
Jonathan Allard, who sometimes styled himself as ‘Lord Allard’ used the proceeds from his crimes to buy himself a Lamborghini Aventador costing £180,000, 13 Luxury watches and jewellery worth in the region of £340,000. He also went on a number of very expensive foreign holidays and was living in a rented house in Knightsbridge, paying £6,500 rent per month. It is estimated that he made at least £1.5million personally from selling bogus investments between 2013 and 2017.
The investigations into his activities by the Met’s Specialist Crime’s Economic Crime Team began in 2016. By November of that year officers had sufficient evidence to arrest him at a London airport and conduct a search of his house which uncovered the items that he had purchased as well as instructions to investment sales staff and draft correspondence to be sent out to victims of the scam. His luxury car was seized at this point.
Detectives discovered many of the 43 victims had been promised investment returns in the region of 9-12% in what was an extremely complicated scam involving an official business being set up in Canary Wharf. The company was called Zurich Private Capital (ZPC) and they offered attractive returns in commodities which included oil and soya beans. The money that was supposed to be invested was often paid into bank accounts controlled by Allard.
The Lamborghini Aventador costing £180,000 purchased by Allard
Some of the victims had been persuaded to invest through cold-calling and others by sophisticated marketing material. Other victims felt they were pushed into investing whilst others felt reassured by the apparent legitimacy of the company. Many had been told they had to keep their money invested for a minimum of three years to ensure of the best possible return.
Eventually some of the victims became suspicious when they tried to withdraw their money and those that threatened ZPC with legal action did sometimes get refunded.
Most of the company’s customers simply had their emails and phone calls ignored and ended up with losses ranging from £10,000 to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
One of the victims attempted suicide and others have seen their health deteriorate due to stress or being forced to work well past their retirement age due to the loss of their savings.
The investigation spanned many years with officers conducting worldwide enquires, including Hong Kong and Dubai. Numerous victims were contacted and statements obtained, along with hours of work analysing bank accounts and following the money trail. The complexity of the investigation meant that Allard wasn’t charged until December 2021 and didn’t appear in court until last month when he pleaded guilty to one count of fraud. He was imprisoned at Southwark Crown Court on Monday, 22 May.
PC Will Evans, from the Met’s Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit, said, “The impact of this crime on the victims is absolutely shocking. Allard masterminded a sophisticated and convincing investment fraud to take advantage of vulnerable victims on a large scale. The money was used to fund a lavish and extravagant lifestyle, showing complete contempt for the victims.
“The Met will now utilise the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover any and all assets held worldwide.”
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, you should report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
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