The trial of a Spalding man allegedly involved in a fraudulent £4 million investment scheme has today (Tues) begun at Lincoln Crown Court.
Christopher Toynton, 73, of Horseshoe Road, Spalding, denies 12 fraud charges and one offence of contravention of the general prohibition on carrying out a regulated activity.
The prosecution allege Toynton was the manager and sole company director of the Lottery Syndicate Club Ltd, which operated in the town.
It is alleged Toynton was involved in the fraud, along with unauthorised trader Ross Gibson, 27, who has pleaded guilty to his role.
A third man, Philip Cavener, 61, is on trial alongside Toynton.
The prosecution admit Cavener was not involved in fraud, but was a friend of Toynton and introduced a large number of people to the scheme.
Julian Jones, prosecuting, told the jury: “This case concerns fraud which the Crown says was committed by Christopher Toynton, along with Ross Gibson, with regards to funds given to them for the purpose of investment.”
Mr Jones said Toynton was responsible for administering the scheme and contacting investors but failed to carry out due diligence on the trader, Gibson, who had little experience.
The prosecution claim Toynton misled investors and misused funds, in some cases diverting funds for his own personal use.
Mr Jones likened the scheme to a “Ponzi or Pyramid” scheme where payouts came from new investors rather than trading profits.
“At the heart of this case is money,” Mr Jones told the jury, who were then shown a graph which showed “just shy of £4 million” going into the scheme.
The jury were told the scheme eventually collapsed in November 2018 due to insufficient funds, and Lincolnshire Police later began an investigation.
Toynton denied any criminality when he was interviewed by police, and Cavener also denied any fraudulent activity.
Cavener, 61, of Douglas Road, Bedford, denies one offence of contravention of the general prohibition on carrying out a regulated activity.
Gibson, 27, of Eve Lane, Upper Gornal, Dudley, has already pleaded guilty to three offences on dates between 1 November 2017 and 31 March 2019.
He will be sentenced at the conclusion of the current trial after he admitted two charges of fraud and one offence of contravention of the general prohibition on carrying out a regulated activity.
The trial continues