Two South Yorkshire businessmen who duped investors out of millions have been jailed for a total of nearly 10 years.
Fraudsters Ian David Shakespeare and Charles Ernest Frisby werejailed after being convicted of fraudulent trading while they were directors of a group of Derbyshire-based investment companies.
Detectives from Derbyshire Constabulary’s economic crime unit started investigating the pair in 2009 following a complaint from a shareholder of Zoemack Ltd that their investment funds had been misused.
The guilty verdict came after a 15-week trial at Nottingham Crown Court. The jury deliberated for nine days.
Zoemack Ltd was originally based in Chapeltown, but later moved to Barlborough in Chesterfield.
The company went into administration in 2008 and at that time owed £7 million to 90 private investors and more than £7 million to four high street banks.
Det Sgt Andy Small said: “Investors and lenders were duped into thinking their money was being used for the sole purpose of purchasing and developing distressed properties. In reality large amounts were used to fund the lavish lifestyles of the two defendants, their families and their friends.
“Many of the private investors were planning for their financial security as they entered their hard-earned retirement, but they were conned into re-mortgaging their family homes and cashing in their pension to invest in the scheme.”
Shakespeare, aged 53, of Wales, near Sheffield, was found guilty of four counts of fraudulent trading and was jailed for seven years.
Frisby, aged 68, of Rotherham, was convicted of two counts of fraudulent trading and sent to prison for two and a half years.
Det Sgt Andy Small said: “The result of this case doesn’t bring back the financial security nor the futures that the victims had worked long and hard for, but I hope it gives them some sense of satisfaction that justice has been done.”