Fraudster jailed after £18m ‘elaborate deception’

Stephen Farley, jailed for Ponzi-scheme scam.
Stephen Farley, jailed for Ponzi-scheme scam.

A crooked company director who perpetrated a massive fraud on investors has been jailed for seven years after using cash to fund his lavish lifestyle.

Stephen Farley, from Newtongrange, was portrayed as “a whizz kid on the stock market” by staff but one man who was briefly employed as an investment director by his firm quickly came to the conclusion that he was incompetent.

Farley (57) carried out an £18 million fraud after inducing investors to sink money into his firm to trade on the foreign exchange market in a ‘Ponzi’ scheme, paying returns to some clients from fresh capital injected by new investors and financing his own luxury existence.

A judge told Farley: “This was a complex and detailed fraudulent scheme which involved elaborate deception.”

Lady Scott told him: “Very significant sums of money were involved.”

She said Farley was an educated man who had the opportunity to make something of his life but had chosen to apply himself to weaving a web of deceit. She told him he would have been jailed for nine years, but the sentence would be reduced to take account of his guilty plea.