A company director who splashed out on lavish cars and exotic holidays after fleecing investors of £3 million has been jailed.
Alan Chandler, 46, of Torrance Drive, Melton, used a forged document to persuade a venture capital company to invest in his green energy company Soleil Holdings Ltd, and falsely claimed that he was a multi-millionaire and the son of a High Court judge.
Lincoln Crown Court heard how the fraudster repeatedly claimed that his business, which grew straw and converted it into electricity, was thriving, despite it not doing.
Chandler attained the investment from Fredrik Werner and Agne Svensson, who operated through a Monaco-based venture capital company called Marine Life.
However, the two investors lost every penny of their money when the company collapsed due to outstanding debts, including staff wages.
Most of the £3 million investment went into propping up the company to keep it going but Chandler personally benefited by almost £400,000 which was spend on “exotic” holidays for him and his girlfriend, expensive cars and a rented farmhouse near Stamford.
Chandler, who was previously known as Mark Lamb, admitted to three charges of fraud.
He was jailed for seven years.
Recorder Paul Mann QC, sentencing, told Chandler: “If the investors had known the truth, they would have cut their losses.
“As it was they became sucked into making more payments as a result of your assurances.
“They have lost every penny they invested with you. You just fed them lies.
“You created a fictional lifestyle.
“In every sense of the word you have lived your life as a professional conman.
“Your desire to get rich quick is one of the reasons why the business failed.”
Jonathon Dee, prosecuting, said that Chandler, whom the investors knew by his original name Lamb, made a series of false claims to convince the investors to back him.
He claimed to have a portfolio of properties across the UK and Europe, and produced documents showing he had received 150,000 shares worth £5 million after departing his previous company – when he had in fact only earned just £56,000 from 2,000 shares.
Mr Dee said: “Mr Werner and Mr Svensson conducted due diligence but nothing cropped up.”
In a desperate bid to cover up his lie, in October 2011 Chandler told the investors that the reason he didn’t have up to date financial information was because of a fire, and said his firm was due an insurance payout of £750,000.
However, when the insurance claim of just £23,000 for the fire came through, Chandler confessed.
Mr Dee added: “He finally realised that the business had failed.
“There was a meeting where Mr Werner and Mr Svensson learned the truth. What they learned greatly shocked them.”
Greg Johnson, defending, said: “This was a company that was viable. It could have succeeded. He was trying to make the company succeed.
“The investment did not go to him. It went primarily into the company.”