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12th Jan 2023

Ex-Premier League star jailed for defrauding £15m out of friends and family

Steve Hopkins

Richard Rufus claimed to be a successful foreign exchange trader

A former Premier League star has been jailed after defrauding family and out of £15 million.

Ex-Charlton Athletic player Richard Rufus was, on Thursday, jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Rufus had claimed to be a successful foreign exchange trader and convinced victims to invest in his “low-risk” scheme.

The 47-year-old was found guilty of fraud, money laundering and carrying out a regulated activity without authorisation at Southwark Crown Court.

Richard RufusRobbie Keane of Tottenham is challenged by Richard Rufus of Charlton during a league clash at White Hart Lane, in December, 2002. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Richard Rufus enjoyed ‘trappings of wealth’, court told

Richard Rufus used £7m of the total sum to pay back investors in a pyramid scheme, while around £2m was used for his own purposes.

The centre-back enjoyed the “trappings of wealth” and drove a flash Bentley and wore a Rolex.

The former England Under-21 defender played 288 games for Charlton Athletic, over 12 seasons, and captained the club, too. He was twice named to the PFA Team of the Year for Division One.

In 1998, Rufus scored his first ever senior Charlton goal to force extra time and penalties, which his side went on to win against Sunderland to gain promotion to the Premier League. Ongoing knee issues forced him to retire in 2004, at the age of 29.

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