Guilty: Wembley conman who posed as the Pope's banker in £73m fraud
PUBLISHED: 15:59 05 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:13 05 February 2016
Javier Casado/Central News
A flamboyant fraudster from Wembley has been found guilty today of conning a shipping firm out of £73 million by claiming he had secret links with the Vatican.
Luis Nobre, 49, of Tristan Court in King George Crescent, posed as a multi-millionaire and lived in five-star hotels as part of an elaborate scam cooked up by a criminal gang to con Dutch shipping company Allseas Group Ltd out of vast sums of cash.
To lure them into parting with their money, the gang boasted they had access to ‘secret and lucrative’ trading and could deliver returns of up to 1,200 per cent through a platform connected to the Vatican via the Spanish royal family.
Champagne-sipping Nobre also boasted he traded billions of dollars for China’s biggest sovereign wealth fund and attempted to woo two HSBC employees into his web of fraud by holding a meeting for just four people in the vast ballroom of the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone.
He then attempted to buy the hotel itself as well as a £40 million mansion despite having no legitimate income.
Nobre lived at the hotel for seven months before fleeing to Switzerland in June 2011, leaving his girlfriend Victoria Weir and their newborn baby with an unpaid bill of £130,000.
He is the sole director of Larn Ltd, whose firms are registered to exclusive addresses in Harley Street and Marylebone,
Today Nobre trembled in the dock as a jury found him guilty of one count of acquiring criminal property, five counts of transferring criminal property and three counts of possession of articles for use in fraud, all of which he denied.
Nobre was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on February 9.
He was joined by co-defendant, Buddika Kadurugamuaw, 46, a solicitor from Hendon, who helped launder £111,400 of criminal cash.
She was granted bail and will be sentenced on March 4.