Britain's Got Talent star jailed for part in multi-million pound pyramid scam - USA DAILY NEWS

Britain’s Got Talent star jailed for part in multi-million pound pyramid scam

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A star of Britain’s Got Talent has been jailed for his part in a multi-million-pound Ponzi-style scam.

One man of 82 lost £50,000, almost all his life savings, in Liam Collins’ fraud.

The dancer, 44, whose two-man act Faces of Disco got to BGT’s semis in 2009, and David Bone, 37, ran an enterprise that secured funds to buy and renovate student housing.

Their CBS Group went bust in 2009, owing investors £3million, but they promised repayments with interest inside a few years.



A suited Liam Collins arriving at Manchester Crown court

They quickly set up a new firm offering new “opportunities” for student housing investments.

Financial regulators warned that they were breaching the law and solicitors advised the pair they were misleading investors, saying that to continue would be fraud.

Collins, of Newcastle upon Tyne, vowed to stop taking new investors. Collins wrote to investigators insisting: ‘’We will immediately cease to accept new clients and investments.’’

But he and Bone, from Astley, Greater Manchester, kept bringing more in by exaggerating returns.

In 12 months over 2010-11 nine victims lost £274,000. Between May 2010 and April 2011 nine victims lost sums of between £5,000 and £50,000 each. They were unaware of the previous losses.



Liam Collins, former BGT star, is charged with corporate fraud after hiding debts of £3m



David Bone, Collins’ partner in crime

Collins and David used the money to pay-off their original investors.

This included settling debts on 27 properties with negative equity that they had carried over from their previous business.

Funds were also not ring-fenced and instead paid into David Bone’s personal account, before being used on costs to run the defendants’ new company.

The pair spent the money on paying off original investors as well as on themselves – including Bone’s wedding in Las Vegas.

Judge Anthony Cross QC told Collins: “Your conduct was brazen and flagrant.

“At a time when you should have exercised caution you cocked a snook at authority.”

Collins and Bone both pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court to fraudulent trading. Each was jailed for 21 months.

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