High-roller on the Costa del Sol Nigel Goldman disappears ‘with investors’ millions’
Flamboyant businessman cannot be found by his clients
Sunday 26 January 2014
A high-rolling poker player and Costa del Sol society figure, said to be friends with Princess Diana’s former lover James Hewitt, has gone missing – leaving investors millions of pounds out of pocket.
Nigel Goldman was previously convicted for fraud and jailed in England, writing openly about his crimes in his autobiography, High Stakes: How I Blew £14 million, and then set himself up as an investment adviser near Marbella.
But now the flamboyant businessman, who styled himself as a "Sir", cannot be found by his clients, more than a dozen of whom claim they are owed money after investing in one of his schemes.
Antonio Flores, the lawyer representing Mr Goldman's clients, said complaints had been made to police in Spain and authorities in the UK. "I think he's not done anything of what he said he would be doing - invest the money for people," Mr Flores told The Independent, outlining the allegations. "I think he's just had a classic vulgar Ponzi scheme, where he just dips in [to the money] whenever he feels like it and pays out clients who shout the loudest." Mr Flores said Mr Goldman "acted totally outside of any regulation".
The total amount of money involved could actually be far higher than first thought as typically in cases like this only 25 to 30 per cent of clients come forward, the lawyer said. He said one of Mr Goldman's clients was missing a "large amount of money".
According to emails seen by The Independent, a client sent a message to Mr Goldman in November saying: "PLEASE DEPOSIT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. The amount you are holding is £500k."
A reply from an email address used by Mr Goldman said: "Just managed to pay in 425.00 for you - sorry that's all I can mange [sic] for now, it's a small start, but more importantly, a gesture of my good intentions for the future."
Jon Clarke, of The Olive Press, the expat newspaper which broke the story, said he believed the total sum could run into "tens of millions".
"I would say on the Costa del Sol, Costa del Crime, he was one of the most colourful characters, one of the best-known, and best-loved by some people, a regular at charity events," he said. "He was charming and definitely funny ... but I trusted him about as far as I could throw him."
Mr Clarke said Mr Goldman was "very good friends" with Mr Hewitt and also claimed to know Sir Mark Thatcher, another leading light of the social scene.
Mr Goldman did not respond to requests for comment on Facebook and to two email addresses he has used. But in a text message published by the Birmingham Mail, Mr Goldman appeared to claim that he himself was a victim of a scam. "It seems some of my brokers turned out to be running a Ponzi scheme with everyone's money... I did not set out to be a thief," he said.
Michel Euesden, managing director of Euro Weekly News, where Mr Goldman once worked as a restaurant reviewer, said the businessman had persuaded people he had "gone straight" by saying he had "a pathological fear of returning to jail". "People have lost their life's savings," she wrote. "Here is my personal message to Sir [sic] Nigel... One day soon it will be the last drop of champagne you savour in a very long time."
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier
Striker's four-month ban for biting an opponent expires on Friday
Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella