‘Lord’ Edward Davenport has been jailed for 7 years due to his ‘advanced fee fraud’ loan scheme that scammed a number of businesses and individuals…
‘Lord’ Davenport, 45, is well known on the high society celebrity circuit for his infamous teenage Gatecrasher Balls held in the 1980’s for private school goers.
On his personal website – http://www.davenporttrust.com/ – Davenport’s photo gallery features pictures of him alongside famous A-listers including Keira Knightly, Mick Jagger, Al Pacino, Simon Cowell, Russel Brand, to name a few.
His Georgian mansion at 33 Portland Place, London, has also been used to host celebrity parties and was the set for many music videos, including the late Amy Winehouse’s 2006 single Rehab, and most recently used as the film set for Colin Firth’s Oscar winning performance in The Kings Speech.
Rather than acting as host for one of his lavish parties, ‘Lord’ Davenport has recently been subject to a three month trial at Southwark Crown Court under allegations of fraud.
‘Lord’ Davenport was identified as the head of Gresham Ltd. – a false financial lending company – that offered loans during the ‘credit crunch’ to individuals and small businesses.
Gresham Ltd claimed to have over 50 years experience in the commercial lending process and posed as a respectable business that those in need could trust.
HMRC tax investigations into ‘Lord’ Davenport’s alleged fraud began in December 2009, when the ‘Lord’ and two of his businesses partners were arrested by an officer from the Revenue’s Serious Fraud Office.
All three men were arrested under suspicion of fraud for agreeing to fund loans in total of £500 million and not providing any subsequent ‘promised’ loan money to clients.
Simon Mayo QC, for the prosecution, said:
“To outward appearances [Gresham Ltd.] was long established, wealthy and prestigious.
“It operated from expensive London premises and had a balance sheet showing significant assets. It had a flattering corporate brochure and used headed notepaper that lent an image of corporate credibility.
“That image, however, deliberately cultivated by these defendants, was entirely false. In truth it was a company which had only been set up by Edward Davenport in late 2005. It was essentially worthless. Its only business was fraud.”
On trial at Southwark Crown Court it was noted that between 2007 and 2009 Gresham Ltd had accepted in excess of £4.5m in funds from innocent clients, for supposed deposits and due diligence fees for false loans.
There are thought to be fifty-one victims that have been affected by ‘Lord’ Davenport’s loan fraud scheme.
Joining Davenport in prison are his London business partners, Borge Anderson, 66 and Peter Riley, 64. All three fraud suspects were convicted at Southwark Crown Court for a single count of conspiracy to defraud.
Commenting on his 7 year sentencing, ‘Lord’ Edward Davenport has released the following statement:
“This is a matter that I have denied throughout and have already lodged an appeal against this conviction.
“During the relevant period I was involved in numerous successful business transactions. I will continue to make every effort to prove my innocence and I look forward to my case being considered by the Court of Appeal and being able to clear my name.”
This is not the first time Davenport has had a run in with HMRC.
In November 1990 he was supposed to spend a 9 month stint in prison for VAT evasion, which was reduced to a suspended sentence after only two weeks spent in jail.
Kevin Kinsella, of KinsellaTax, said:
“I will be interested to see the outcome of the appeal and the grounds of that appeal.”