Former England football player Chris Sutton caught up in Plymouth fraud case
FORMER football star Chris Sutton was among investors caught up in a multi-million pound fraud by a Plymouth accountant, a court heard.
The former England, Blackburn and Chelsea player put £50,000 into a spread-betting currency scheme branded a "sham" at Plymouth Crown Court.
His wife Samantha also invested the same sum, a jury was told.
Accountant Simon Grinter is accused of lying to clients by saying he was making profits when in fact he was making huge losses.
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The 56-year-old was handed about £7.8 million by investors over four years, but Grinter lost about £3 million, the court heard.
Prosecutors said that his bank accounts showed he spent more than £500,000 on credit card bills and other personal expenses over the same period.
The jury was read statements from Mr Sutton and his wife. Mr Sutton, who also played for Norwich and Celtic, said: "During the investment period I was led to believe that I was making a profit on the investment, however I now realise that I was not."
Mr Sutton told the court that Grinter's scheme was recommended to him by his financial adviser two years ago as offering a "good return".
He added his friend and fellow player Billy McKinlay, the Scottish international, had also invested in the scheme.
Mr Sutton, from Norwich, said he knew the scheme depended on spread betting on currency fluctuations, but added he did not fully understand how it worked.
He added he was "totally reassured" by emails he received from Grinter.
Mr Sutton said on some days he made a loss but every month was told he made three to four per cent return on his investment. He did not withdraw any profits.
The statement did not say whether Mr Sutton expected to receive any money back.
The court was earlier told that police have frozen £1.7million of Grinter's assets.
Mrs Sutton told the court in her statement that she invested £50,000 in her name into the scheme in February 2012. She said that the she did withdraw her profits every month, receiving between £1,200 and £1,600.
The jury heard live evidence and statements from six other clients.
Retired Arvind Patel from Leeds, claimed he had lost £212,000 invested in the scheme.
Another man, Jeffrey Bolton from Loughborough, said he had "no idea" what was left of his £50,000 investment.
He added he had received "not a penny" back in the three months he took part.
Mr Bolton said Grinter told him he had made £4,000 in that time.
The court heard police on a separate investigation raided Grinter's home and stopped him trading in June 2012.
Grinter, of Butts Park, Newton Ferrers, denies 13 charges of fraud by abuse of position and fraud by false representation between 2008 and 2012.
The trial continues.