Agent who defrauded Olympic star is jailed
THE FORMER manager of Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford has been jailed for 18 months for swindling the long-jumper out of more than £48,000 to fund his gambling addiction.
Gaby Stone, 34, pocketed sponsorship and appearance fees from the London 2012 hero and former Strictly Come Dancing contestant to feed his habit between 2014 and 2015.
Stone was the sole director and company secretary of GSE Management and looked after Mr Rutherford’s commercial opportunities.
But he gambled away tens of thousands of pounds of the Olympian’s earnings from live appearances and endorsements.
Julia Flanagan, defending, told Blackfriars Crown Court that Stone “simply wants to say repeatedly to the court he is very sorry that he did this and he hopes the upset to Mr Rutherford is something he will move on from.”
But in a victim impact statement read to the court Mr Rutherford, 30, said: “The thought that someone who had been responsible for a large part of my life and someone I had put my trust in to handle a major source of my income had been dishonest has left me feeling sick.”
Stone, of Edgware Road, central London, admitted fraud by abuse of position.
The court heard that Stone’s friends and family repaid the Milton Keynesborn athlete in full as Stone sought help to stop gambling
He is the son of Susy Stone, headteacher of Akiva primary school in Finchley. Mr Rutherford and another of Stone’s clients, gymnast Louis Smith, previously visited the school.
His father is Maurice Stone, company secretary of the UJIA and founder of the Israel Folk Dance Association and the dance group Oranim. His brother Danny, is secretary of the parliamentary All-Party Group against Antisemitism and was made an MBE in the New Year Honours.
Passing sentence, Judge John Hillen told Stone: “One of your clients was the Olympic longjumper Greg Rutherford.
Gaby Stone Victim Greg Rutherford: the Olympian said he was sickened by the fraud
he had a written contract which was that you should keep 20 per cent of the gross income which you generated for him and he the remaining 80 per cent.”
The court heard that when Mr Rutherford met Stone to discuss his finances in March 2015, Stone told him he had lost tens of thousands of pounds in a “bad investment”. Judge Hillen said: ‘You lied to him because what you were doing was to repeatedly betray the trust that he had placed in you by letting your finances get into such a state that you were spending money on gambling that should have been part of your business.” When the Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion instructed his accountants to assess how much he had lost, the judge said Stone “confessed to him that the money had actually been lost as a result of your gambling addiction”. Mr Rutherford then sacked Stone and pressed charges after repeated attempts to get repayments failed. Judge Hillen said despite Stone’s “plain guilt” he made no comment during two police interviews and later denied the charges.
“It’s only as a result of this prosecution that friends and family have rallied round to give you the money to repay Mr Rutherford,” he said.
“The delay to which your counsel referred is entirely down to you.”