A jury has heard details of the lavish spending of a Brighouse man who has admitted involvement in an ex-pat investment fraud.
John Hirst, 61, enjoyed expensive stays at a luxury hotel in Dubai, first class air travel and spent more than £90,000 on his Las Vegas wedding.
Details of Hirst’s champagne lifestyle were outlined to a jury at Bradford Crown Court during the trial of his wife Linda, solicitor son Daniel, stepdaughter Zoe Waite and alleged business associate Richard Pollett.
Hirst, of Millroyd Mill, Huddersfield Road, Brighouse, has accepted his involvement in the so-called “Ponzi” scheme which swindled ex-pats in Mallorca out of millions of pounds and the jury has already been told that in the 1990s he was jailed for a scam involving ex-miners.
Financial advisor Richard Pollett, 70, from Dorset, is on trial accused of involvement in defrauding investors.
Hirst’s 62-year-old wife, from Surrey, his step-daughter, 36, also from Surrey, and his 35-year-old solicitor son Daniel, of Marsh Lane, Leeds, have all denied money-laundering allegations.
Details of Hirst’s financial affairs and bank records relating to various companies including his investment firm Gilher Inc were outlined to the jury.
They revealed that investors, who had been promised returns of 18 per cent per annum with a two per cent bonus, had put around £10 million into Gilher, but had got back less then £5 million.
Payments made from Gilher to Hirst’s personal accounts and companies associated with him totalled over £2 million.
A schedule prepared by an officer from the Serious Fraud Office revealed that at least £270,000 was spent renovating the Hirsts’ villa in Mallorca and their Las Vegas wedding cost more than £90,000.
Hotels, holidays and flights were said to have cost just short of £160,000 with more than £25,000 spent on jewellery.
The jury heard that the couple also enjoyed taking cruises and spent more than £75,000 on a series of trips.
The court was told that the couple stayed at the exclusive Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai on the way to the Seychelles for their honeymoon.
In total more than £46,000 was spent on accommodation at that hotel alone during various visits.
The trial continues.