Wayne Rooney and other stars lose £25m investments as property fraud case is dropped



Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand were just two of the football stars who lost £25m after investing in Kingsbridge Asset Management as police close a fraud case at the firm

Wayne Rooney is one of the football stars who won’t get his money back after investing in Kingsbridge Asset Management

Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand are among the top football stars to lose £25million after investing in a company accused of fraud.

The England and Manchester United legends will not get their money back after police closed an investigation into the company.

Police said they did not have enough evidence to prosecute financial advisers Kingsbridge Asset Management.

In 2018, the Mirror told how the company attracted £417m in investments from 589 sports stars.

The police investigation centered on an alleged £25million fraud linked to property deals.

Gavin Tyrrell, director of fraud investigation standards for the City of London Police, told the Mirror: ‘We have carried out a two-year investigation into allegations of fraud against a number of employees at Kingsbridge Asset Management.

Rio Ferdinand also lost after investing in the company



“There was insufficient evidence to meet the requirements of a successful criminal prosecution. This view was supported by the Crown Prosecution Service.”

Derby boss Rooney, 36, and Ferdinand, 43, were among 31 footballers who bought holiday homes in Florida through Kingsbridge.

Experts Danny Murphy and Martin Keown also invested in the failed property venture.

Police said the victims each lost hundreds of thousands up to several million pounds, although it is understood some have recovered some of their losses through legal action.

Rooney reportedly purchased property at Harbor Pointe in Port Charlotte, Florida



Former Scotland captain Colin Hendry has claimed he went bankrupt after taking Kingsbridge’s advice and investing the money. The City of London Police investigation focused on Charlotte Harbor, a holiday home development, where stars have bought condos, priced at an average of £300,000.

Rooney bought his lavish flat for around £320,000. Many properties were subsequently sold at huge losses. The average resale price was £75,000. The flats are said to have generated more than £800,000 in commission for Kingsbridge.

The Nottingham-based firm also offered other investments, including property in Marbella, before ceasing operations in 2010. Police had investigated Kingsbridge’s activities for defrauding ‘wealthy clients’ between 1992 and 2010 .

Detective Superintendent Perry Stokes said at the start of the inquest that losses amounted to more than £25million. He added: ‘We have launched a review into allegations of fraud involving Kingsbridge and associated companies. At the time, he said they were suspected of “conspiring together to abuse their position of trust to defraud”.

He added: “Clients were told the investments were low risk, but turned out to be very, very high risk and put clients at significant risk of harm.”

City of London Police have also confirmed that no further action is being taken against three suspects with links to Kingsbridge, after they were arrested by Fraud Squad detectives in 2018.

A 61-year-old man was suspected of conspiracy to defraud in Blackburn and two men, aged 60 and 38, were arrested in Nottinghamshire.

A spokesman for Kingsbridge Asset Management said at the time that they “have never sought to benefit financially at the expense of their clients and the alignment of their interests has always been clear”.

Representatives for Rooney and Ferdinand have been approached for comment.

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