Victoria Beckham's ex-brother-in-law Darren Flood jailed for part in £1million fraud targeting vulnerable victims
Victoria Beckham‘s ex-brother-in-law has been jailed for his role in a £1million fraud that saw the famous family’s name used to con vulnerable victims.
Darren Flood was director in a firm which police described as “criminals in suits” who cold-called the elderly to persuade them to invest thousands in practically worthless materials.
The 40-year-old, who was previously married to the former Spice Girls star’s sister Louise Adams and is the father of her eight-year-old daughter, falsely promised big returns to his victims.
He was handed a 30-month jail sentence at Kingston Crown Court on Friday.
The Beckham name was mentioned to some potential investors to make the scheme seem legitimate, although Flood’s barrister argued he had not personally sought to capitalise on the family link.
The group targeted vulnerable people, including an 83-year-old woman who lost her life savings, phoning them from rented offices in London’s Canary Wharf.
The scammers pressured their victims to invest money into buying rare earth elements, metals and oxides which are used in products such as mobile phones and computers, which police said may as well have been flour.
While Surrey Police said the force is aware of 24 victims who invested more than £800,000, the true scale of the crimes is believed to be much larger, with up to 30 more victims, who officers believe did not wish to come forward due to embarrassment at having been fooled.
Flood was responsible for marketing The Commodities Link (TCL), police said, as it claimed to be a “truly global brand” made up of commodities brokers with high value offices.
Detective Inspector Matt Durkin, who led the investigation, said: “This is a criminal gang who, dressed in suits, used big, long complicated words and flashy brochures but, fundamentally, they are just criminals.”
Deputy circuit judge Michael Carroll, sentencing, said the investment scheme Flood was involved in was “fraudulent from the outset”.
Flood, of Ware Road in Hertford, who owned almost a quarter of The Commodities Link (TCL), was part of the business alongside his half-brother Jonathan Docker and their cousin Gennaro Fiorentino.
Accountant Mark Whitehead, office manager Vikki King, manager Stephen Todd and salesman Paul Muldoon were also sentenced on Friday for their parts in the scam.
They had denied conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation but were convicted by a jury in November last year.
There is no suggestion the Beckhams knew anything about the TCL fraud or about any use of the Beckham name.