In The Future, Hedge Fund Manager Will Definitely Think Twice Before Transferring £600k To Her Lover’s Bank Account No Questions AskedBy Bess Levin
- Ask said lover if he lives with his mom
- Double-check to make sure the Bentley he drove her home in was in fact his, and not a rental while his 2003 Honda Accord was in the shop
- Be a bit more skeptical of his alleged contacts in the Middle East, who required she transfer over 1 million dollars into his bank account before they would invest $1.5 billion in her (and her husband’s) hedge fund.
Company chief executive Talke Stauss, 46, was so in love with Rizwan Butt she believed he was the go-between for a potential $1.5 billion dollar investment into her hedge fund, it was alleged. She also had a series of business meetings with Butt at top London hotels The Dorchester and The Ritz – not realising the 45-year old bachelor had been living with his mother in a £56,000 inner city terraced house in Longsight, Manchester. During the two month scam Butt went on “a charm offensive” with his knowledge of finance, talk of introducing investors from the Middle East and of having a Swiss bank account, it was claimed. After one meeting he drove former semi professional tennis player Mrs Stauss back to her apartment in a Bentley and later professed his love for her. When he asked for a million dollars as a returnable “security deposit’ to clinch the deal, Mrs Stauss and her husband Roman, 44, agreed to transfer the money in sterling to Butt’s bank account without carrying out any checks on his background, a jury was told.
The alarm was raised after Eddie George a fellow director at ATG Investment Managers Ltd found out about the deposit and was so worried, he himself researched Butt to discover he in fact ran a cleaning company with net assets of just £657. Mrs Stauss realised she had been duped when she returned from a business trip she had enjoyed with Butt in Shanghai with a plan to leave her husband – only to be faced by Mr George insisting her lover was a fraud. When Mrs Stauss asked for the money back, Butt – who had flown home early – sent a text message saying: “Talke my dear. No problem my love. They should have it by five this evening. Take care love. Kisses.” Four weeks later when police caught up with Butt he was at the wheel of a black Audi Q7 carrying a wad of £1,000 in cash. He had recently bought a house for £175,000 and had a black Mercedes parked in the driveway. The Bentley turned out to be rented and before the scam he drove a 2003 Honda Accord. Before the alleged scam, Butt worked as a security guard, lived with his mother and had bought the house with a £30,000 deposit he borrowed from two friends.
For his part, Mr. Butt is claiming that his business contacts and back story are legit, that actually, this whole thing is ATG’s fault, and that he’ll think twice before trusting his heart to another temptress.
When arrested Butt claimed the deal fell through as ATG did not have a relevant trading licence. He denies fraud, false representation, transferring criminal property and money laundering.