Inside luxury life of Richard Rufus who bought £3M mansion and luxury cars before being jailed over £8million scam
FOOTBALL star Richard Rufus lived a life of luxury by scamming families and friends out of millions.
The former Charlton Athletic centre-back, 49, used their money to buy a flash Bentley, Rolex and mansion.
His former five-bedroom property in leafy Purley, South London, which sits on more than 3,200 sq ft, is now worth a staggering £3million.
And it sits on an exclusive road with the average house price over the last year at just over £2million.
It was last sold in 2017 for a huge £1.8million.
Pictures show the property with an elegant wooden floor, huge garden and a large marble-floored conservatory.
It also came with a double garage, games room and outhouse.
Rufus was today jailed for seven-and-a-half years for tricking his friends and family into investing in a dodgy pyramid scheme.
Posing as a foreign exchange trader, he lied that football friends, including Rio Ferdinand, had invested with him.
As a result of his property, he spent nearly £700,000 over five years on mortgages and loans.
The ex-footballer also splurged £200,000 on motoring costs – including £70,000 to Mercedes Benz Finance, a further £45,000 to the car company and over £46,000 to Land Rover.
He also spent thousands on shopping and in restaurants.
He transferred £222,468.11 to his wife, Simone Rufus and £158,513.86 to a joint account he held with her.
The only legitimate income Rufus received was £850-a-month rent he earned on a property in Surrey.
Lucy Organ, prosecuting, said: “He scammed friends, family and associates out of millions of pounds by pretending he was able to offer a low-risk investment in the foreign exchange market.
“He claimed he had significant success with his strategy in the past.
“Mr Rufus took over £15million in total. He traded some of it, as I have said, losing vast amounts, but that wasn’t the end of the fraud.
“Of that money, about £2million he never even transferred to foreign exchange trading accounts. He used this money partly to prop up the losses that his scams were making.
“Making payments back to other investors to continue the pretence that they were making a good investment, a so-called ‘pyramid scheme’ and partly simply for his own benefit, treating the money he received from investors as his own.”
Rufus duped investors by claiming he could return their original capital within 14 days of them asking.
One victim paid between £8,500 and £12,500 and was told he could make potential profits of £425 a month.
He only realised his money had been lost when Rufus’ home was re-possessed while he was fitting a new carpet there.
Even when his accounts were frozen by the the Financial Services Agency in 2011, Rufus continued the alleged scam by taking more money from investors.
He used the cash he received for his own gain and to pay fake profits to his investors.
Rufus earned six England Under-21 caps during his career.
The centre-back played solely for Charlton and made 288 appearances after his debut in 1994 aged 19.
His first-ever senior goal came in the Addicks’ historic win over Sunderland in 1998 in the play-off final at Wembley.
Rufus’ banger forced the game into extra time – with Charlton’s win on penalties securing them promotion to the Premier League.
He retired through injury in 2004 and was later inducted into the club hall of fame at The Valley.
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