‘Lord’ in scam to fund champagne lifestyle told to pay back £13.9m

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A self-styled lord who led an international playboy lifestyle bankrolled by a global fraud was yesterday ordered to pay back £13.9m or spend an extra 10 years in prison, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has said.

Edward Davenport, 48, dubbed “Fast Eddie”, enjoyed a champagne lifestyle, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous at his £10m central London mansion and boasting that he counted Kate Moss and Princes William and Harry among his friends.

But the socialite was unmasked as the mastermind of a multimillion pound scam and in September 2011 was jailed for seven years and eight months for conspiracy to defraud.

He fleeced funds from 51 victims, including Princess Diana’s wedding dress designer, Elizabeth Emanuel, who lost her life savings in the audacious scam.

Davenport and his accomplices set up a company called Gresham Ltd which cashed in on the global crash by offering bogus start-up loans to entrepreneurs who needed cash.

They promised to fund loans worth £500m and fooled their victims into shelling out millions for due diligence and deposit fees – while the loans never materialised.

Davenport used the cash to fund a champagne and sports car lifestyle and claimed to have a £100m property portfolio.

At London’s Southwark Crown Court, Judge Peter Testar also ordered Davenport to pay prosecution and defence costs of £1.9m.

Davenport was given six months to pay the money, and if he fails to he will have to spend another ten years behind bars.

His sentence was cut to six years and eight months earlier this year by judges at London’s Criminal Appeal Court.