BUSI­NESS­MAN IN FRAUD PROBE

He ‘to­tally and ut­terly’ de­nies all al­le­ga­tions af­ter ex­pats lost on in­vest­ments:

Bangor Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Rhys Wil­liams, also in­set, be­low, has de­nied all the al­le­ga­tions against him OWEN HUGHES

ABUSINESSMAN from North Wales is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for al­leged money laun­der­ing and fraud of­fences af­ter ex­pats liv­ing in Spain lost mil­lions of pounds in failed in­vest­ments.

Rhys Wil­liams, from An­gle­sey, has been spo­ken to by po­lice in the UK as part of a probe into money laun­der­ing.

The 36-year-old yes­ter­day “to­tally and ut­terly” de­nied all al­le­ga­tions against him and added that he had acted in good faith in help­ing peo­ple with their in­vest­ments.

Our sister pa­per, the Daily Post, has spo­ken to two peo­ple who al­lege Mr Wil­liams per­suaded them or fam­ily members to in­vest in Dubai-based ven­tures – with the of­fer of a lu­cra­tive 2% a month re­turn on the in­vest­ment.

One in­vestor, Adrian Par­sons, said he lost close to £500,000 in the failed projects af­ter Mr Wil­liams be­friended him in Mar­bella and even went to his Las Ve­gas wed­ding.

Build­ing firm boss Paul Livesey says his fa­ther Brian, an 84-year-old dec­o­rated war hero, lost al­most £1.5m.

In­vestors claimed that, af­ter months of at­tempt­ing to claw back in­vest­ment money, they con­fronted Mr Wil­liams in Spain ear­lier this year.

Mr Wil­liams is now liv­ing back on An­gle­sey with his wife and three chil­dren.

Mr Par­sons, 53, from Birm­ing­ham, said he first met Mr Wil­liams in 2014.

He said: “We met through our chil­drens’ school as we both had kids there. We be­came friends over 10 months. He in­tro­duced me to this in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity in Dubai.”

Mr Par­sons said Mr Wil­liams per­suaded his fam­ily to in­vest in a re­cy­cling project in Dubai called Im­pact Gen­eral Trad­ing, and he even toured the fa­cil­i­ties.

They ini­tially in­vested £300,000 with a prom­ise of a 2% re­turn on the in­vest­ment each month.

Mr Par­sons said: “For eight months, it went well. We re­ceived the 2% re­turns and at that point we in­vested an­other £200,000.” The next pay­ment did not ar­rive. He said: “His ex­pla­na­tion was that the ac­count had been frozen due to an il­le­gal trade with Iran.”

There were no more pay­ments over an 18-month pe­riod.

Mr Par­sons said: “It then came to a head. We had a meet­ing and we chal­lenged him and he even­tu­ally ad­mit­ted the money was gone. Two days af­ter that meet­ing, he left Spain with his fam­ily.”

Po­lice in the UK first con­tacted Mr Par­sons in Jan­uary this year and he ar­ranged to come to Bri­tain to meet of­fi­cers.

They have since told him they are pre­par­ing a case to be sub­mit­ted to the Crown Prosecution Ser­vice.

He added: “It has had a dra­matic ef­fect on my fam­ily’s life at a time we need the money to care for my par­ents, who have can­cer. “Los­ing the money is hard but the emo­tional side is the hard­est. I en­cour­aged other friends to in­vest and they have lost money, hard-earned money. “It hurts as well that I thought we were friends. He came to my wed­ding in Las Ve­gas. That is a hard hit.” Dec­o­rated war hero and for­mer build­ing com­pany boss Brian Livesey in­vested £1.4m into the scheme. He bor­rowed money against the value of his home in Spain where he had re­tired.

He lost ev­ery­thing and is now sup­ported by his fam­ily.

Son Paul, 45, who runs a con­struc­tion firm in Manch­ester, said: “This has de­stroyed him. He is em­bar­rassed that he has lost this money and feels he has let down his fam­ily and be­come a bur­den.

“He was such a proud man and this has changed him. He has suf­fered a stroke and we think this is down to all the stress.”

North York­shire Po­lice said: “Po­lice have in­ter­viewed a 36-year-old man from North Wales in con­nec­tion with an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion into money laun­der­ing of­fences.”

Mr Wil­liams said: “I wish to to­tally and ut­terly deny any al­le­ga­tions against me.”

A fur­ther email for­warded by Mr Wil­liams from some­one he said was a busi­ness as­so­ciate said that, while Mr Wil­liams had as­sisted with rais­ing funds, he was not re­spon­si­ble for the fail­ure of the ven­tures or li­able for the debts.

Ac­cord­ing to the Daily Mail, a Guardia Civil spokesman said: “We can con­firm we are in­ves­ti­gat­ing Bri­ton Rhys Wil­liams for al­leged fraud, fol­low­ing two reports filed by Bri­tish ex­pats on the Costa del Sol.

“We can­not comment fur­ther as we are still gath­er­ing ev­i­dence be­fore tak­ing any­thing we find to a judge.”

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