Registrar Jones ordered that Richard Rufus, a former Charlton Athletic footballer, be given a 15 year period of bankruptcy restrictions order as a result of his financial conduct during the period 16 May 2007 to 11 February 2011.
An Insolvency Service investigation found that Mr Rufus accepted deposits from investors totaling 16,228,304, made losses of 5,027,539 through currency exchange trading and paid 7,362,094 to investors, which Mr Rufus represented as returns on their investments. Mr Rufus used 3,422,087 for his own purposes or for purposes that are unknown or not in the ordinary course of his business.
The bankruptcy restriction regime exists to protect the public and Mr Rufus period of bankruptcy restriction means that he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until the end of 4 November 2030.
Further restrictions include:
he must disclose his status as a person subject to bankruptcy restrictions to a credit provider if he wishes to get credit of 500 or more
he may not act as an insolvency practitioner, or as the receiver or manager of the property of a company.
This bankruptcy restrictions order follows investigation by the Official Receiver at Public Interest Unit (South), a specialist team of the Insolvency Service, whose involvement commenced with the bankruptcy of Mr Rufus on 22 October 2013. Claims to date received by the joint-Trustees in bankruptcy total 13,788,974. Mr Rufus creditors included a church organisation who placed 5 million with Mr Rufus to invest and a further church who placed funds totaling 665,000.
The Official Receivers investigation uncovered that Mr Rufus failed to disclose losses to his investors, used other investors deposits to repay investors and used deposited funds to finance his own lifestyle.
In making his judgment Registrar Jones stated that Mr Rufus exploited trust and friendship and exploited the churches that he attended, used funds in a Ponzi manner and to fund his own lifestyle and whose conduct was fraudulent and involved a fraudulent breach of trust.
Commenting on this case Paul Titherington, Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit, said:
The Insolvency Service will look closely at any evidence of misconduct and take appropriate action where others have suffered as a result of a bankrupts actions, as has happened in Mr Rufus case.