A British poker ace is being hunted by Spanish police after disappearing from his Costa del Sol mansion after allegedly stealing over THREE MILLION EUROS from investors.
Playboy Nigel Goldman, 56, who counts James Hewitt and Sir Mark Thatcher among his close friends, is being investigated by the Guardia Civil and Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and internet crime reporting centre.
The only trace of Goldman, who drives a red Ferrari, since he vanished in Marbella, has been a text message to a former employer three weeks ago which read: “I did not set out to be a thief.”
Spanish police are probing claims that the broker from Edgbaston in Birmingham, left people empty handed and unable to access their bank funds.
Police have not been able to trace him for three weeks now after they received complaints about his Tangier-based company, International Financial Investment.
Goldman, who enjoys swigging on champagne and smoking expensive cigars, has a history of dishonesty, in his own book, ‘High Stakes: How I Blew £14 million’ published in 2012, he confesses being sent to prison twice for fraud.
A review on his book reads: “Goldman seems to show little remorse – and more than a little contempt – for the victims whose money he lived off so handsomely.”
Despite his past, Goldman is claiming he, and others, have been duped this time and believes his brokers were running a Ponzi scheme with everyone’s money.
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from existing capital or new capital paid by new investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organisation running the operation.
Goldman has admitted in writing to owing as much as £658,000 (800,000 euros), however a lawyer acting for investors who claim to have lost cash is stating he is chasing
3 million euros, a figure rising daily.
Flashy Goldman made his name at some of the world’s biggest poker tournaments around the world, winning thousands.
Giles Brown, a journalist for ex-pat newspaper The Olive Press in Spain said: “Nigel is a rogue.
“Shake your hand and you count your fingers afterwards – but he always kept good company, he knew his win and cigars and was impeccably dressed.
“Now he’s vanished, leaving behind the furniture and three cats.
Lawyer Antonia Flores, said: “So far we have spoken to victims in Almeria, Malaga and Jaen.
“In our most recent estimate it looks like reaching 3 million euros.
“It is large scale, Police have not yet issued an arrest warrant, but they are not far from doing that.”
Goldman offered investments in a host of commodities, including bullion, stocks and shares, although is not a regulated financial advisor due to his criminal convictions.
Roger Parks, a neighbour and friend of Goldman said he even tried to get him to invest, although he chose not to, he said: “I have known him for 35 years.
“When he showed me the prospectus for International Financial Investments at his palatial rented home in Elviria a few months ago, I couldn’t stopped laughing.
“By the way, has anyone else noted the initials of his company spell IFI, as if ‘iffy’?”
Despite police currently searching in Spain for him, a fellow poker player, who did not want to be named claims he spoke to Goldman on January 3 and he stated he was in
He said: “He’s in Morocco. Well, he was on January 3.
“I spoke to him. Unbeknown to me, he was on his toes.
“I have known him for years. We have sat opposite each other at many a poker table.
“He didn’t have much to say, which is unlike him.”
A spokesman for Auction fraud confirmed complains had been lodged with the
organisation about Goldman.
If those complaints are upheld, information gathered will be passed to either the Metropolitan Police of Fraud Investigation Bureau.