£840k Ponzi fraud ...but con­man only has to re­pay £25k

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Rory Cas­sidy

A CON­MAN who made £840,000 and bat­tered one vic­tim with a base­ball bat was or­dered to hand over just £25,000 yes­ter­day.

Ste­wart Kennedy, 54, told in­vestors a fran­chise in his busi­ness, which was a Ponzi scheme, was ‘the fi­nan­cial op­por­tu­nity of a life­time’.

But he used their money to fund a lux­ury life­style that in­cluded tick­ets to Rangers games, jew­ellery for his wife and trips to ex­clu­sive restau­rants such as the Corinthian Club in Glas­gow. He spent nearly £30,000 on two trips to the US and funded his son’s £1,400-a-month flat in Lon­don.

At a Pro­ceeds of Crime hear­ing at Pais­ley Sher­iff Court it emerged Kennedy had agreed to pay back £25,000 af­ter pros­e­cu­tors dis­cov­ered he had made £840,000 through crime. Procu­ra­tor fis­cal de­pute

David McDon­ald said in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Kennedy’s fi­nances showed ‘the ben­e­fit of his crim­i­nal con­duct’ was £840,000, and that the ‘re­cov­er­able amount’ was £25,000.

Sher­iff David Pen­der made a con­fis­ca­tion or­der in the sum of £25,000, giv­ing Kennedy six months to hand over the cash.

Kennedy was jailed for four years in Jan­uary last year but has al­ready been re­leased.

Vic­tims of his scam in­cluded a can­cer con­sul­tant, a for­mer deputy head teacher and a for­mer prin­ci­pal con­sul­tant with ac­count­ing firm KPMG.

Plumber Stu­art Cald­well also paid £15,000 for a fran­chise and lent Kennedy £18,000 for a Sky TV advertisin­g cam­paign.

But Mr Cald­well never re­ceived a penny back and, when he went to Kennedy’s home, in Quar­rier’s Vil­lage, Ren­frew­shire, to find out what had hap­pened to his in­vest­ment, Kennedy bat­tered him with a base­ball bat.

Kennedy told in­vestors they would re­ceive a min­i­mum of

‘I was grossly un­der­paid’

£4,600 per month for ten months as a re­turn on each £15,000 sum they in­vested.

He charged clients a fee to re­struc­ture debts and said each fran­chisee would ‘own’ a post­code, se­cur­ing them £575 for ev­ery com­pleted debt re­arrange­ment within the area.

Kennedy de­nied all wrong­do­ing dur­ing his month-long trial at Pais­ley Sher­iff Court, and said: ‘I was grossly un­der­paid based on the hours I put in. I’m en­ti­tled, as the owner of the com­pany, to take money to pay for bills and, the last time I looked, I don’t be­lieve it’s a crime to go on hol­i­day.’

How­ever, a jury con­victed him of two charges of fraud and one of as­sault over the base­ball bat at­tack.

Scam: Kennedy

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