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Darius Guppy

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Darius Guppy
BornJune 1964 (age 54)
Alma materLycée Français Charles de Gaulle
Eton College
Magdalen College, Oxford
Partner(s)Patricia Guppy
Parent(s)Shusha Guppy
Nicholas Guppy

Darius Guppy (born June 1964)[1] is a British-Iranian businessman, known for his part in a 1993 insurance fraud involving a faked robbery. He is also known for his relationships with Earl Spencer and Conservative politician Boris Johnson.


Guppy's mother was the Iranian author and singer Shusha Guppy (1935–2008).[2] His grandfather on his mother's side was the philosopher and theologian Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammed Kazem Assar, who held the chair of philosophy at Tehran University; his maternal cousin, Hooman Majd.

His father was the writer Nicholas Guppy (1925-2012).[3] On his father's side he is a descendant of Lechmere Guppy, the naturalist who discovered the eponymous fish, as well as the inventor Sarah Guppy,[4] Thomas Guppy, the engineer and business partner of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the explorer Amelia Guppy, Sir Francis Dashwood and the Plantagenet family.[5]

Guppy was educated at the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle, Eton College, and Magdalen College, Oxford. In his second year, he became a member of the Piers Gaveston Society, as well as the Bullingdon Club.[6] He was the best man at Earl Spencer's wedding to model Victoria Lockwood, his first wife; Lord Spencer was his best man in return. He was a close friend of Boris Johnson, who later became the Mayor of London,[7] as well as of Count Gottfried von Bismarck.

He is married, has a daughter and two sons, and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.[8]

Insurance and VAT fraud

In February 1993, Guppy was jailed for staging a faked jewel robbery and claiming £1.8 million from the insurers.[9] Guppy claims his fraud was intended as retribution against Lloyd's of London, since his father had lost money in Lloyd's financial crisis of the 1990s.[8] Guppy and his business partner, Benedict Marsh, hired a man to fake a robbery, discharge a firearm and tie them up. Both men were found guilty of conspiracy involving fraud, theft and false accounting at Snaresbrook Crown Court, and Guppy was sentenced to five years in prison.[10][11]

Guppy also pleaded guilty in 1993 to three separate charges relating to illegal VAT claims on gold bullion later smuggled into India between October 1989 and July 1990.[12][11]

Boris Johnson and News of the World journalist

During a telephone call in 1990 he asked Boris Johnson (then a journalist at the Telegraph) to provide the home address of News of the World journalist Stuart Collier. Collier had been making enquiries into Guppy's background, and in response Guppy wanted to send someone to physically assault Collier. The address was not provided and the attack never took place, but a tape of the conversation was leaked to the press in 1995.[13][14][15][16]


He has written for The Spectator magazine, the Asia Times, the Independent on Sunday and The Independent,[17] the Sunday Telegraph,[18] and the New Statesman.[19] Guppy has also published poetry.[20][21][22] He published his autobiography, Roll the Dice, in 1996.[23]


  • Guppy, Darius (1996). Roll the Dice. Blake Publishing. ISBN 1-85782-159-9.[24]


  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  2. ^ Bremner, Charles (26 March 2008). "Shusha Guppy". The Times. London.
  3. ^ "Nicholas Guppy". The Daily Telegraph. London. 10 June 2012.
  4. ^ "The female engineer behind Bristol's iconic bridge". The Telegraph. London. 30 May 2016.
  5. ^ Yseult Bridges (1980). "Child of the Tropics". ISBN 976-8066-05-9.
  6. ^ Richard Alleyne (4 December 2004). "Oxford hellraisers politely trash a pub". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  7. ^ John-Paul Flintoff (16 March 2008). "Boris Johnson: Maybe it's because he's a ponderer". The Sunday Times. London.
  8. ^ a b Jane Flanagan (20 February 2010). "The truth about my friend Boris and my feud with Earl Spencer". The Telegraph. London.
  9. ^ "2 London Jewelers are convicted of faking Manhattan Gem heist". Boston Globe. 14 February 1993.
  10. ^ Arlidge, John (14 February 1993). "Guppy 'going to prison for a very long time' in pounds 1.8m gems fraud". The Independent. London. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  11. ^ a b "Two jailed over gems firm fraud: Guppy and partner sentenced to five years". The Independent. 26 March 1993. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  12. ^ "Guppy spun 'web of deceit' in bullion fraud". The Scotland Herald. 5 March 1993.
  13. ^ McSmith, Andy (30 March 2009). "Darius, Boris and a blast from the past". The Independent. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Darius Guppy: 'If we go to war with Iran, I'm in trouble'". The Independent. 11 June 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  15. ^ Stanford, Peter (29 March 2013). "Darius Guppy: 'That element of madness was always there'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  16. ^ Flanagan, Jane (20 February 2010). "The truth about my friend Boris and my feud with Earl Spencer". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  17. ^ Darius Guppy (12 June 2011). "Growth: it ain't happening". London: The Sunday Independent.
  18. ^ Darius Guppy (21 February 2010). "Our world balances on a sea of debt. The Counterfeiter and the Bankster". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  19. ^ Darius Guppy (31 July 2016). "In Praise of Walls". The Spectator magazine.
  20. ^ John Adlam and Darius Guppy, eds. (1984). First Set: Blue Jade. ISBN 978-0948021008.
  21. ^ John Adlam and Darius Guppy, eds. (1986). Second Set: Nomads. ISBN 978-1869800000.
  22. ^ Elizabeth Jennings (15 August 1985). "Oxford Poets then and now". The Spectator. London.
  23. ^ Guppy, Darius (1996). Roll the Dice. Blake Publishing. ISBN 1-85782-159-9.Described in Publishers Weekly, 27 January 1997 v244 n4 p93
  24. ^ Described in Publishers Weekly, 27 January 1997 v244 n4 p93