Former Premier League defender Richard Rufus is accused of defrauding numerous victims out of millions of pounds in an investment scam and spending ‘a large proportion on his personal expenses and lifestyle’, a court heard.
The former Charlton player has been charged with fraud by false representation, possessing £5.3million of criminal property and accepting deposits without being authorised to do so between 2007 and 2012.
The 44-year-old, who was capped six times for the England Under 21s and spent his whole career at Charlton, appeared in City of London Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and spoke only to confirm his personal details. He gave no indication of his plea.
Prosecutor Roger Makanjuola told the court: ‘He is charged in relation to accepting monies from people which he purported to invest on behalf of them.
‘He indicated to them that he would be investing this money on their behalf, providing them with returns.
‘The Crown’s case is that the promises he made to these people were not sustainable and were in fact fraudulent. He did not invest, indeed he spent a large proportion of it on personal expenses and lifestyle.’
He suggested to the court that due to it being ‘somewhat complex fraud’ the case should be sent to Southwark Crown Court.
Alex Chowdhury, defending, said he had no representations to make to the court on behalf of his client.
Chair Spyros Elia told Rufus the matter was ‘so serious’ that it needed to be dealt with in a Crown Court.
Rufus, of Crystal Palace, was once voted Charlton’s greatest ever defender by fans but retired in 2004 after suffering a career-ending cruciate ligament injury.
He entered the financial sector after retirement.
Rufus is due to appear in Southwark Crown Court on September 5.