A fraudster who ran a boiler room operation selling shares to fictitious companies has been locked up following a global hunt.
Derby Crown Court heard how Andrew Wright was one of the ringleaders in a series of frauds that saw him and his associates swindle £1.25m from around 180 victims.
The fraudsters were based in Spain, according to police, but set up a fake company called CGI, which used UK addresses including a business premises in Loscoe.
Police explained that the fraudsters then cold-called hundreds of people to offer shares in the company at low prices, promising large returns on investment.
An investigation into the fraud was launched in 2009 but Wright fled to Malaysia from his home in the Javea area of Spain before he could be arrested.
A European Arrest Warrant was issued for Wright and he was detained at an airport in Amsterdam in May last year.
The 64-year-old was later extradited back to the UK and charged with conspiracy to defraud.
He pleaded guilty to the offence at Derby Crown Court and was sentenced on Monday, February 9, to four years and eight months in prison.
DC Rich Foster, who led the investigation, said: “This was a long, painstaking investigation into a fraud that left around 180 victims across the country facing serious financial losses.
“The victims Wright and his associates targeted were mainly elderly and lived across the UK. They were seduced into handing over their life savings, pensions, or even taking loans to get the money to invest in what they believed was a genuine business. They were all lied to from the first phone call.
“Our pursuit of this criminal in a number of countries and over several years proves how seriously we take this kind of offence, and I’m pleased that we have been able to bring one of the ringleaders in this operation to justice.”