Scam victims' cash funded Ferrari and private jet

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The Independent Online

Richard Pope was a "wannabe playboy" who spent the life savings of British pensioners on a top-of-the range Ferrari, a yacht and a private jet.

Detectives described how the 53-year-old bachelor, originally from St Albans, Hertfordshire, lived a "champagne" lifestyle from his home in Spain.

Police seized a host of luxury goods which read like a millionaire playboy's wish list.

A 55ft boat, a Beach King aircraft and a Ferrari Daytona Spyder were among Pope's favourite toys.

Pope, who is unmarried and has an elderly mother, showed scant regard for his elderly victims, some of whom were left destitute by his scam, police said.

Detective Superintendent Bob Wishart said: "I would describe his style as fast and loose.

"He was funding a millionaire lifestyle at the expense of thousands of victims.

"Yet for those victims it had tragic consequences."

His extravagant lifestyle began to unravel when UK victims complained to their banks about investments made through one of Pope's associates.

After two-and-a-half years on the run, he was eventually caught following an appeal on BBC Crimewatch.

Det Supt Wishart added: "We had been in touch with his relatives. Pope knew full well there was a warrant out for his arrest. I do not give him much credit at all."