EXCLUSIVE: Conman Howard del Monte AKA Nigel Goldman found GUILTY of fraud in UK

The Costa del Sol conman fled Spain to escape his victims here two years ago

LAST UPDATED: 2 Dec, 2015 @ 00:22

INFAMOUS fraudster Nigel Goldman has been found guilty of defrauding online shoppers out of more than €10,000 in a gold coin eBay scam.  

ONE WAY TICKET TO JAIL: Goldman AKA Del Monte waits for train to court this morning with suitcase packed for jail
ONE WAY TICKET TO JAIL: Goldman AKA Del Monte waits for train to court this morning with suitcase packed for jail. COPYRIGHT OLIVE PRESS

Now called Howard del Monte, the shameless 58-year-old was arrested and charged with fraud in May last year after the enraged customers failed to receive their goods.

The overweight conman, who is also wanted in Spain, was found guilty of two counts of fraud by a jury at Reading Crown Court today.

He was cleared of a third count, relating to a further eBay transaction, after deliberating for nearly four and a half hours.

Now it can be revealed that Del Monte is also wanted by authorities in Spain over an elaborate Ponzi scheme, after he fled the country two years ago and left victims owed millions in his wake.

The poker lover, who has previously been jailed twice for fraud and wrote a book ‘High Stakes’ about it, promised punters huge returns on their investments in firms based in Morocco.

But after losing an estimated €3million of investors’ money, he fled his luxury Marbella villa and returned to the UK, with lawyers and victims appealing for his whereabouts.

Although he claimed to be worried about being extradited back to Spain, Del Monte didn’t lie low for long and soon set up an online business to trade rare British Sovereign gold coins.

Through an eBay account called Bensons Emporium, he got back to swindling innocent people from his home in Kintbury, West Berkshire.

But it was at this point which the Olive Press tracked him down via the details associated with the eBay account and paid him a visit.

LARKING AROUND: Goldman AKA Del Monte in Marbella restaurant
LARKING AROUND: Goldman AKA Del Monte in Marbella restaurant

The unapologetic Goldman, who had recently changed his official name to Howard del Monte, refused to come to the door and simply called out of the top floor window that he had ‘nothing to say’.

He later sobbed to a local paper, Newbury Today, that he feared hitmen were coming to kill him.

But his victims did not give up the quest for justice, and 20 months later the larger than life character – who counts James Hewitt as a friend – was finally in the dock.

The two customers who took their complaints to Thames Valley Police were sucked in by his claims that he was selling a number of South African Krugerrand (corr) coins and Elizabeth II sovereign coins.

One man, Australia-based Lee Cubit, forked out €2,288 for two of the Krugerrands and another, Mr Shephard coughed up €13,128 for 40 sovereigns and a further two Krugerrands.

Both men asked for their money back when they didn’t receive the coins and contacted police when the defendant stopped replying to their messages, having done so quite readily when agreeing the bogus sales.

Del Monte, from Birmingham, insisted that he had sent out the coins but Cubit didn’t receive his because Royal Mail had failed to attach the correct postage to the order for their passage Down Under.

He did however admit to lying over the fact he had inherited the coins from his partner, Suzanne Couling’s, family, telling jurors he had made the claims to create ‘advertising spin’ and make them ‘more attractive to buyers’.

Del Monte conceded the lies were ‘stupid in hindsight’.

Convicted fraudster Nigel Goldman, AKA Howard del Monte
CHEAT: Goldman AKA Del Monte has twice been imprisoned for fraud previously

Del Monte was released on bail by Judge Ian Grainger and is due back at Reading Crown Court to be sentenced on January 8 2016.

Meanwhile, multiple complaints have been lodged about Del Monte to fraud and internet crime investigators in the UK.

On top of that, Marbella-based lawyer Antonio Flores told the Olive Press he is aware of ’10 or 12′ complaints about the serial conman that have been made to the Marbella National Police since December 2013, and that he allegedly owes the complainants up to €3million.

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    and do something like some charity work rather than scamming and conning!

  2. Thanks for that John about the casino – I looked him up on the web and he seems to be a very accomplished poker player who has won (according to the press and the poker blogs) hundreds of thousands over the years – surely if he was so wanted in Spain and facing these multiple complaints dating back 2 years the Court would have taken these into account for sentencing? The fact that this larger than life character has been bailed to return next year surely indicates he is facing a light sentence or possibly a non custodial sentence? Maybe he will be given work in a charity shop. Otherwise he would have been banged up right away. I met him a couple of times when he was conducting auctions for charity and he raised much money on the evening in a top Marbella hotel, tens of thousands I seem to remember. He can’t be that bad deep down if he devoted so much of his time to good causes.

  3. Thank you Olive Press for reporting this, and for your previous work on exposing Goldman.
    We dislike crooks at the best of times, and we particularly resent them operating in the world of coins and bullion. This type of activity undermines the honesty and integrity of the majority of established dealers.
    We will never cease to wonder why so many people are so gullible.
    We have criticised ebay’s feedback system many times in the past. Conmen seem to know exactly how to work it to their advantage.
    I wonder what Del Monte will change his name to next time he gets out of jail?
    I trust you will be looking out for him.

  4. An international gold scam!
    Hardly over £12,000.
    I am wearing a watch worth twice that.
    The Guy acted out of need and desperation, all the internet stuff about Nigel could possibly be read by the Judge considering the punishment within legal guidelines, he would be laughing his wig off at a title of international gold scam.
    Do people not do any due diligence when they make an online purchase? Obviously not and some of the problem lies there.

  5. Lets hope the Spanish jutice will catch him now it has been a long time since he was denouced for even worse scams here in spain, and he has gone on record saying he did it intentionaly.

  6. Oh, Mr. Gee, found it now I see. Still trying to justify a common tea-leaf, because, in your book, he’s small-time. Well, as I said, do research on O.P. and hear from some of his previous victims on the Costas. They won’t give the impression that he only pinched nickels and dimes from them.
    By the way, watch out for the petty thieves while wearing that watch. They can do more damage than you imagine.

  7. Goldman/Del Monte is of course what the Yanks call a three-time loser. The third jailable offence is at the top end of the range of sentences. I think this means at least 8 or 10 years. If what Flores says is true, he could finish that just in time to get sent back here to a Spanish jail.

  8. Its not uncommon in the UK for sentencing to be deferred whilst the Judge considers the situation.
    Fraud amounting to £12,000 is a maximum custodial sentence of up to 12 months whilst suspended and community service can be an option, other considerations are financial need and financial distress, was it a planned fraud or did it end up that way, previous history is considers too, and also if the previous convictions are spent.
    A sentence of 8/10 years would be way beyond the legal guidelines, and is NG a danger to the public?

  9. I really have tried to feel sorry for Goldman/Del Monte but I can’t
    With 10 days of freedom left before he is jailed and then likely to rot in a Spanish jail over here once his years in the UK jail are over, he will be a very old man before he tastes freedom again.
    Happy New Year – Mr Gee (Oh sorry that should be Mr.G of course)