Russell King (fraudster)
|Born||1958/1959 (age 60–61)|
|Criminal charge||25 counts of fraud and larceny|
Time at large
Russell Stephen King (born 1958 or 1959) is a convicted fraudster. He headed negotiations and acted as consultant for the doomed purchase of Notts County Football Club by Munto Finance, a subsidiary of Qadbak Investments.
For years King remained a fugitive living in Bahrain continuing fraudulent activities there.
In July 2018, after extradition to Jersey, he was charged in the Jersey Royal Court with 25 counts of fraud and larceny. He remains there in custody, ordered to reappear in the same court on August 3, 2018.
In 1991, King was sentenced to two years in prison for insurance fraud after trying to claim £600,000 for his Aston Martin after claiming it had been stolen. It was discovered that he had hidden it in his garage.
Notts County F.C. purchase
King acted as head negotiator and consultant for the purchase of Notts County Football Club to Munto Finance, a subsidiary of Qadbak Investments, making the false claim that he was a manager of billions of US dollars of the Bahraini royal family's money.
Although claiming to have had no legal involvement in the scheme, King was able to negotiate the sale of the football club for 1 pound. He also recruited former England football manager Sven-Göran Eriksson to join promising him a large sum if he also worked for Swiss Commodity Holding (SCH). King claimed the mining company had raw material assets worth $1.97 trillion (£1.27 trillion). He used the nickname of L. Voldemort, after the Harry Potter character Lord Voldemort, and then he told many times that he couldn't be involved because his name, Russell King, didn't appear in any documents.
The club was sold five months after the purchase with debts of £7 million.
King, representing Swiss Commodity Holding (SCH), visited North Korean Chairman Kim Yong-nam of the Supreme People's Assembly in Pyongyang. Sven-Göran Eriksson joined King on the trip. The purpose of the visit was to persuade the government to hand over gold mining rights in exchange for billions of US dollars allegedly from Bahraini investors.
2018 magazine scam
Russell King launched a magazine called FT Business Arabia, claiming it to be the Middle East version of the Financial Times in order to obtain millions of dollars in advertising revenue. He also benefited from barter deals with top hospitality groups and luxury retail brands in the UAE.
Jersey-based company Close Finance sought repayment of £2m in loans. This had resulted in a freeze of his assets up to that amount. King had been sought by the British police, the Serious Fraud Office, the Financial Services Authority, and Nottinghamshire Police.
Since around 2013, King had been operating the Middle East edition of a magazine called Food and Travel using different aliases and claiming false statistics on the publication's circulation numbers.
On 28 July 2018, the Jersey Evening Post reported that King was remanded in custody on the island and expected to face 25 counts of fraud and larceny charges in the amount of £16m in early August.
2018 fraud and larceny charges
On 27 July 2018, King was charged in the Jersey Royal Court with 25 counts of fraud and larceny that occurred while he was living in Jersey in 2008. These include allegedly selling the Belgravia Financial Services Group in a fraudulent manner, as well as falsification of accounts and larceny as well as forgery.
Crown Advocate Matthew Jowitt stated "It is alleged the misappropriation is something in the order of £16 million pounds."
On 7 August 2018, it was reported that due to the complexity of the case and the speed at which events had happened, the bailiff, Sir William Bailhache, adjourned the case for three weeks, at which point pleas would be entered.
List of organizations associated with King
This is a list of organizations that were allegedly either victim of, or controlled by, King.
- Notts County F.C. - Football club purchased by Munto Finance.
- First London plc. - On the pretense of managing billions of dollars on behalf of the Bahraini royal family, King gained a 49% interest in this firm. This company went into administration (a form of bankruptcy) with debts of 8 million pounds.
- First London Group plc. - Parent company of First London plc. that suffered "significant financial damage" from Russell King
- Swiss Commodity Holding (SCH) - Now renamed Coremin
- Qadbak Investments - Parent company of Munto Finance.
- Belgravia Group - Collapsed financial services firm. King is currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office of the Jersey Financial Services Commission in connection with his role in its collapse. The firm once tried to buy Newcastle United. The firm was about to be acquired by First London, but the Jersey authorities blocked the deal.
- Munto Finance - A subsidiary of Qadbak Investments, this company is registered in the British Virgin Islands, claimed to be Middle Eastern, purchased the Notts County F.C.
- "Fraud office looks at scamming of Sven-Goran Eriksson". BBC News. 2011-04-18.
- "Sven-Goran Eriksson 'duped into managing football minnows by businessman who promised billions in incredible fraud'". Daily Mail. London.
- Jersey links in BBC’s fraud investigation » News » This Is Jersey
- "Bahrain to probe deals of convicted UK fraudster - Banking & Finance". ArabianBusiness.com. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- Gus Lubin (2011-04-21). "Meet The Conman Who Bought A Football Club And All The Gold In North Korea, While Name-Dropping The King Of Bahrain - Business Insider". Articles.businessinsider.com. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- Roberts, Laura (2011-04-18). "Conman took control of half an investment bank without paying". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- Matt Scott (15 April 2011), "How Digger helped solve the riddle of Notts County and Lord Voldemort", The Guardian, London
- "Luxury Photos and Articles - StyleList". StyleList. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- Editor, Mazhar Farooqui, (2018-02-14). "Trillion dollar conman strikes Dubai". GulfNews. Retrieved 2018-05-17.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- "Bahrain to probe deals of convicted UK fraudster". Arabian Business. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- Morris, Michael. "Extradited defendant faces £16m fraud case". jerseyeveningpost.com. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
- "Bahrain News: Conman extradited to UK to stand trial on 25 fraud and larceny counts". www.gdnonline.com. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
- Goodley, Simon (2010-09-10). "Russell King prevented from leaving Bahrain". The Guardian. London.
- International Adviser :: Belgravia Group’s King now subject of SFO scam investigation, BBC reports
- Russell King prevented from leaving Bahrain | SCOT NETWORK
- "Fraud probe at Notts County? - The Political Economy of Football". footballeconomy.com. Retrieved 6 May 2015.