Churchgoer conned fellow worshippers out of £3m
Saturday 08 March 2008
A churchgoer posing as a City trader is facing jail after conning his fellow worshippers out of millions of pounds to pay for a life of "wild extravagance".
Lindani Mangena, 24, dazzled members of the Seventh Day Adventist church with financial gobbledegook to gather funds for a company he claimed would offer returns of up to 3,000 per cent profits.
Southark Crown Court heard how hundreds of members of the south London church fell for the "sophisticated" con – which lasted from July 2003 to March 2004 – offering a "minimum" of £3.2m.
Along with two others, Mangena – who had dropped out of university to work in a Romford cinema – operated from offices in the City.
The luxurious lifestyle was with hard-earned cash donated by droves of housewives, pensioners and widows, as well as "cleaners and others in similarly humble jobs", the court heard.
One victim quit his job to get involved in the fake project, another lost £185,000, and scores of others remortgaged their houses and plunged into depression as they struggled to pay the bills.
The money was frittered away on multimillion-pound properties – including in St George's Wharf, Vauxhall – along with top-range cars and exotic holidays, one of which involved a stay in the royal suite at Dubai's seven-star Burj al Arab hotel, costing £55,815.
Mangena, of Romford, Essex, did not give evidence, but claimed through his barrister that he had set up a legitimate business, only for it to be corrupted by his greedy co-defendants.
But he was unanimously convicted of fraudulent trading, money laundering and carrying on an unauthorised investment business. Dean Hinkson, 29, of West Croydon, and Curtis Powell, 31, of Thornton Heath, claimed they had been duped by Mangena. But they were found guilty of one charge of communicating an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity.
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 5 Medina: Saudis take a bulldozer to Islam's history
- < Previous
- Next >