For most people, the name Nicholas Levene is something only half-remembered. It’s been seven years since he was found guilty of fraud back in 2012, but the Serious Fraud Service (SFO) never stopped hunting down his assets. Today they announced that they took another step in compensating Levene’s victims.
In March 2013, Levene was handed a confiscation order to give all his realizable assets. The problem was that the grand total of said assets was a bleak £1. The SFO never stopped chasing Levene’s funds, however, and managed to confiscate around £118 000 in assets today.
Crime (Makes You) Pay
The SFO managed to obtain a restraint order on the self-invested personal pension of Levene. This happened back in February this year, but the court ruling only occurred today. Judge Martin Beddoe ruled that the pension Levene had accrued should be seized by the SFO in order to compensate the fraudster’s many victims.
With more than half his sentence behind him, Leven will be forced to take on the world without any money at all when he eventually gets out. What he will do when he does is anyone’s guess, but the man clearly paid a steep price for his fraud.
The Relevant History
All the way back in September 2012, Levene pleaded guilty to one count of false accounting, one count of obtaining a money transfer by deception, and a whopping 12 counts of fraud. The total sentence was thirteen years in prison and the confiscation order for over £32 million.
Through the months of April 2005 and October 2009, Levene operated what was essentially a Ponzi scheme of great sophistication. By lying to investors and saying that he bought the shares on their behalf, he was able to divert their funds into his own personal accounts. This money was to maintain his extremely lavish lifestyle as well as his crippling gambling problem. In a bid to allay suspicions, Levene paid the money of new investors to the old investors and pretended that it was the “profits” of their investment.
It’s suspected that the total money Levene gained from investors, spanning January 2005 to October 2009, totaled up to £250 million. The lucrative fraud scheme collapsed in on itself when the old investors started to demand that Levene sell the fictional shares he invested. This rather obviously led to civil court actions against Leven as investors tried to get their money back. Coupled with the gambling debts Leven had accrued, he was subject to a bankruptcy order on the seventh of October 2009.
A Fair Warning
With the relevant subject of this article in mind, some advice about avoiding fraudulent investment schemes will be linked here. The important fact to remember is that no one can prevent every illegal scheme from ever happening in the first place. The only thing that can be avoided is how many people fall for it.