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Anthony Constantinou: "Career Criminal" Convicted Of £70 Million Forex Trading Scam

A 41-year-old man has been found guilty of running a £70 million Ponzi-style investment scam following a seven-week trial. Although the fraudster has been convicted, he absconded during the trial and an international arrest warrant has been issued for him.

An international arrest warrant is currently in place for Anthony Constantinou
An international arrest warrant is currently in place for Anthony Constantinou

Anthony Constantinou, 41, was convicted of one count of fraud, two counts of fraudulent trading, and four counts of money laundering at Southwark Crown Court on Monday.

An international arrest warrant has now been issued for Constantinou after he absconded during the trial.

The convicted fraudster ran Capital World Markets (CWM) which offered investors returns of 60% per year on allegedly risk-free foreign exchange (FX) markets, resulting in hundreds of investments being made, totalling around £70 million.

Detective Inspector Nichola Meghji said: "This has been a long-running and complex investigation.

"Anthony Constantinou is a career criminal who is out to make as much money for himself as possible, with no regard for anyone else.

"Throughout this lengthy investigation, Constantinou has continued to try to deceive officers and deny any wrongdoing. In a further move to deny any involvement in this case, he decided to stop attending his trial.

"We are glad that the jury has seen through his lies and unanimously found him guilty."

CMW operated from late 2013 to early 2015, and Constantinou told investors they would receive returns of 5% per month and those who introduced investors to the company would also receive a share.

Initially, investors were told the minimum investment amount was £50,000, but in the later stages of the scam, this was increased to £100,000.

CMW received payments from at least 250 known victims, whose money was not being invested in foreign exchange as advertised, but the purported returns were being paid back to the investors from their own and others' invested capital.

Constantinou told his victims that only 10% of the capital was at risk and the remaining 90% was held safely in a "segregated account" in Germany.

The conman reassured investors by offering a guarantee on the 10% himself.

City of London Police said that although evidence suggested other people played a key role in the scam, Constantinou was the only person who knew what was really going on with the company.

Others involved in the business were led to believe the scheme was unregulated but returns were being made from genuine investment.

Police began investigating Constantinou and CWM in 2014.

Authorities made the decision to stop the scheme after the initial investigation in an attempt to preserve as much investor money as possible and stop further people from becoming victims.

In March 2015, officers searched the Heron Tower offices of CWM, and Constantinou was arrested.

CWM's finances showed extravagant spending of clients' funds, including £3 million spent by Constantinou on various events, such as his wedding, and a CWM launch party.

Emma Beazley, of the CPS, said: "This was a callous scam targeting members of the public. Many people lost their hard-earned money because of Constantinou's greed and false promises in this fake investment scheme."

He is due to be sentenced in his absence on June 9.

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