• SFO bags two convictions in £45m Ponzi scheme trial
Two fraudsters were convicted yesterday of a Ponzi scheme that prosecutors said was worth £45 million.
Spencer Mitchell Steinberg, 46, of Radlett in Hertfordshire, and Michael Dean Strubel, 54, of south London, were convicted at Southwark crown court of enticing wealthy individuals to invest in Saunders Electrical Wholesale Ltd. Prosecutors said that the business purported to be a successful supplier of electrical goods to blue chip hotel chains such as the Marriott, Hilton, Holiday Inn and Park Plaza. But the business was a sham.
Jolan Marc Saunders, 39, of Buckhurst Hill in Essex had pleaded guilty earlier.
The verdicts will provide a high-profile boost to the Serious Fraud Office, which brought the prosecutions. The investigators have recently had to go to ministers asking for increased funding.
David Green, QC, the SFO’s director, said: “These three individuals preyed on investors, including vulnerable victims from their own communities. They had parted with tens of thousands of pounds, and in some instances their life savings.”