Yorkshire property developer ordered to pay back over £569,000 to investors

A Bradford man who was convicted in 2015 of fraud has been ordered to pay back over £569,000.

Ralph Christie has been given three months to pay back the money
Ralph Christie has been given three months to pay back the money

Former carpet fitter turner property developer Ralph Christie was found guilty on five charges of fraud in 2015 relating to his “vision” to develop hotel sites on the holiday island of Crete.

The 56-year-old, who used to run a carpet fitting business in Leeds, but moved to the island in 2004, was sentenced to seven years in jail.

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Christie's brother Cedric is a former fraud squad detective who stood as an independent candidate in the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Yesterday at Bradford Crown Court Christie was ordered to pay back £569,990 to investors.

Ramona Senior, the head of West Yorkshire Police's Economic Crime Unit, said: “At the centre of this were the victims who lost a lot of money because of the fraud.

“The impact on them in many cases was considerable and at least today we have secured money back from Christie.”

Christie now has three months to pay the money back - or face an extra four years imprisonment.

Ms Senior added: “The order made will be robustly enforced and if Christie fails to pay this order he will face a further four years in prison and the debt he owes to society will remain with him for life until paid in full.”

In 2015 Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC told Christie that the offending was "inexcusable and blatant" fraud.

Among Christie’s victims were a company which invested just under £900,000 and five individual investors, including a couple from South Yorkshire.

The Judge had no doubt that some of the money was used to fund Christie’s gambling and lifestyle.