A fraudster has been jailed for more than five years after pleading guilty to running a 20-year *Ponzi scheme through which he stole millions of pounds.

The ex-financial advisor used his position to target victims and channel their money into his own bank accounts, stealing around £1.65m between January 1997 and September 2018.

Stephen Grail, 58, of Douglas Road, Aylesbury, appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Friday 11 February on charges of theft, obtaining property by deception and fraud by abuse of position.

Investigator Alan Mordey, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit, said: “For nearly 20 years Grail operated a Ponzi scheme, taking money from his victims claiming that he was investing it in pensions and loans for them, whilst using their money to pay bogus “interest” payments to other victims. The stolen money was used to fund his lifestyle and prop up his failing business. He provided his victims with fake documentation showing that their investments had risen, or to support his claim that loans had been made. What pension investments he did make he later raided funnelling the money into his own accounts.”

If you have been a victim of fraud or want advice visit the Action Fraud website (opens in new window) or call 0300 123 2040.  

*A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that pays existing investors with funds collected from new investors. Ponzi scheme organisers claim to invest victims’ money and generate high returns. However with little or no legitimate earnings, Ponzi schemes require a constant flow of new money to survive.

Leave a Reply