A contestant who appeared on Who Wants to be a Millionaire has been jailed for six-and-a-half-years for defrauding his friend and family.
He was convicted of multiple offences, including fraud and money laundering, in relation to financial business he carried out in 2016 and 2017.
Arundell, of Sion Hill in Lansdown, was also convicted of another offence which saw him take £260,000 from his mother-in-law. He splashed the cash on a new Bentley.
In 2016, he invited a friend to invest and claimed that it was a guaranteed money-making investment.
The fraudster collected £100,000 from the friend and the friend’s family members who invested. He said he would personally guarantee their stake money.
Jeff Arundell, 75, from Bath, appeared on the hit television show in March 2000 and won just £1,000 after he got the answer to the £4,000 question wrong
He then went on to spend the cash on numerous trades of spread betting but lied to his victims that he had lost their money and did not have the facilities to repay them.
The friend who lost money in the fraud said Arundell had ‘got what he deserved’ and added: ‘He caused myself and my family a lot of grief and heartache.’
It was later found out by police that Arundell did profit from some of the trades he placed in December 2016 using cash taken from his victims.
The friend and his family reported the matter in January 2017 and a police investigation was carried out.
Arundell said he had received £100,000 in inheritance from his late-mother’s estate earlier that year.
But it was discovered he had taken his mother’s money, while holding a power of attorney for her. This meant that other members of his family could not inherit the money upon her death.
Arundell was convicted of three counts of fraud by false representation and one of money laundering at Bristol Crown Court on Monday, in relation to £86,000’s worth of money he received from his friend and their family.
He was found not guilty of a fourth count of fraud by false representation relating to the rest of the money he received.
He was also separately charged with fraud by abuse of position in respect of the handling of his late-mother’s finances in early-2020. He was convicted of this offence in April 2021.
Arundell was convicted of three counts of fraud by false representation and one of money laundering at Bristol Crown Court on Monday (pictured)
Arundell was sentenced for a total of six-and-a-half years in prison for all five offences at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday. An application has been made under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recoup money he gained from his criminality.
Dr Kirstie Cogram, manager of the serious and organised crime investigation team, said: ‘We are pleased to secure five guilty verdicts against Arundell following what has been a long drawn out investigation into his fraudulent behaviour.
‘Arundell portrayed himself as an experienced trader in the financial markets. He seemingly thought little of defrauding his own family by taking cash from his elderly mother, nor using money from a friend and their family to bankroll his spread betting efforts.
‘His actions were deplorable and made all the worse for his victims by misleading officers and refusing to admit to what he had done, meaning two trials were required.
‘While these verdicts and prison sentence will no doubt be welcomed by his victims, they do not take away from what they have been through.
‘A proceeds of crime hearing will take place at a letter date to ensure he does not profit from his offending; his assets are currently frozen pending that decision. We hope this will provide his victims with some financial recompense.’