Reaction from Rintoul case
A man has been sentenced to 32 months’ imprisonment for fraudulently running a £10 million business in Ryedale.
James David Rintoul, 55, from Brough in Humberside, but previously from Wykeham, was arrested in September 2011 on suspicion of fraud after the oil trading business he was running from an address on Yorkersgate, Malton, collapsed.
He pleaded to guilty to fraudulent trading and money laundering at York Crown Court on Friday.
Rintoul operated an investment fund called Fuel Pulse Ltd attracting investors from friends and associates in the trading world.
The minimum stake was $100,000, the equivalent of around £66,000, and the funds would be used to buy and sell oil on the American oil markets.
Rintoul used a mathematical model to predict the trading on the oil markets based in the USA and the fund was successful for the first two months.
In October 2008, the fund started to lose money, but rather than inform the investors, Rintoul told them that fund was making incredible returns and this was evidenced in statements produced by Rintoul which bore no resemblance to the actual trading figures.
This attracted further investors and in total £1.3 million was invested by his friends and associates.
The fund continued to lose money but Rintoul kept telling the investors that their money was safe and at one point he claimed the fund was working at £10.5 million. In August 2011 the fund had less than £2,600 left.
Rintoul approached two city investment bodies with the fictitious figures in order to raise capital up to £33 million to boost the fund but both attempts failed at the due diligence stage as Rintoul failed to show the actual trading losses and instead used the fabricated statements produced on his home computer.
Based on the false trading figures Rintoul produced through Fuel Pulse Ltd, he withdrew over £250,000 in management fees for his own personal gain. These fees bore no actual resemblance to the trading results and he would never have been entitled to these returns.
Rintoul was previously a very successful oil trader having worked for large multi-national companies in London. He used his reputation and his contacts to set up the fund.
Due to the fact that he used friends who trusted him and then fabricated returns showing massive profits, as well sending the investors expensive Christmas hampers, he managed to continue to attract investment.
Rintoul was told by Recorder Chris Attwooll that he had used a “hard-nose approach” to his selling of the fund.
Rintoul, who was disqualified on Friday from being a director of any company for seven years, was also jailed for 32 months.
After the hearing, one of the investors, Adam Apte, 50, of London, said that although the £60,000 he had lost was “not a life-changing figure” for him, he knew of some investors, and their families, who had been left devastated by what had happened.
He said that some of his fellow investors were still trying to work out what the real motive behind Rintoul’s actions had been, although he tended to believe the evidence placed before the court that his former friend had been trying to save his reputation after things went sour in the recession, only months after the funds was set up.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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