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5 November 2012, 19:31
A stockbroker who defrauded some of Britain's shrewdest business people to live a life of luxury has been jailed for 13 years.
48 year old Nicholas Levene from north London orchestrated a lucrative Ponzi scheme, living the high life and raking £316 million into his bank accounts between April 2005 and September 2009.
He admitted ripping off a series of high-fliers, including Sir Brian Souter and his sister Ann Gloag, the founders of the Stagecoach bus and rail group; Richard Caring, owner of The Ivy and Le Caprice restaurants in the West End; and Russell Bartlett, director of the R3 Investment Group and former owner of Hull City Football Club.
Levene was a successful City worker with an estimated wealth of between £15 million and £20 million in 2005.
But he was addicted to gambling, spending fortunes on spread betting, and had an insatiable taste for luxury.
He admitted one count of false accounting, one of obtaining a money transfer by deception, and 12 counts of fraud.