AN alleged serial fraudster is facing money laundering charges in the UK after being exposed by the Olive Press.
Rhys Williams, 39, and his wife Lisa Williams, 38, have BOTH been charged by the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service.
“Rhys Williams and Lisa Williams are due to appear on March 17 at Birmingham Magistrates Court for a first hearing after being charged with one count of acquiring, possessing and using criminal property and one count of fraud,” a Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson said.
It comes almost three years after the Olive Press revealed the couple had allegedly swindled millions of euros of their pals’ savings while living on the Costa del Sol.
Alleged victim Adrian Parsons, 54, told the Olive Press today: “It has been four years coming but the CPS in the UK have finally charged Rhys and Lisa Williams with fraud and money laundering.
“All the alleged victims of the couple are extremely happy with this news and we are all hoping that they will both receive custodian sentences even though it is unlikely we will recover any of the monies.
“We can only hope that they are convicted so that their records be a warning to others who come across them in the future.”
Several Brits told the Olive Press back in 2018 that they invested up to €1.64 million each into Williams’ alleged ponzi scheme, which operated out of Marbella, Dubai and India.
They accused the Welsh expat of snaring wealthy parents at his children’s €10,000-a-year private school in Marbella, with the help of his wife.
The victims insist the businessman, who was previously declared bankrupt in the UK, persuaded them to invest huge sums into a paper recycling and printing business, as well as trading platforms in Dubai, ‘guaranteeing them a 2% monthly return’.
One British pensioner and ex-soldier Brian Livesey, 84, said he invested €1.64 million in late 2014, but never saw a return.
“It has destroyed him,” his son Paul told the Olive Press back in 2018. “He had a stroke earlier this year from the stress of it, we are barely keeping our heads above water paying off debts.”
Livesey, who once ran a successful UK construction company, was introduced to Williams by a director at one of Gibraltar’s cryptocurrency companies.
“They snared him in with trips to Wimbledon for the tennis, Sweden and to fancy meals out, which was nothing compared to what they got off him,” explained son Paul.
Parsons, from Birmingham, told this paper he invested €500,000 into the Dubai-based recycling company.
“He was very convincing,” Parsons told the Olive Press, “He and his partner were living in a €10,000 per month villa in Marbella and were dressed head to toe in designer clothes and Rolexes.
“They lived the high life out here with all the apparent credentials to prove they are successful and making money.”
Not initially convinced, Parsons flew out to Dubai where he was shown around various facilities that apparently backed up the claims.
“He reinforced all this with detailed bank statements and lots of official paperwork, which we now think was fake,” he continued.
Initially, the investment seemed to be genuine and for the first six months he was paid back the promised 2% agreed per month.
“But then the money suddenly stopped coming in,” he said. “I’m sure this was some sort of Ponzi scheme. Clearly they ran out of more investors.”
For two more years, Parsons claimed Williams kept promising the money would be returned, claiming his company Impact General Trading, based in Dubai, had been embargoed and had accounts frozen after ‘illegally dealing with Iran’.
Parsons asked for his €500,000 investment back to care for his sick father, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
“Williams promised me I would get my money back, telling me how his mother had also had cancer and that he wouldn’t let us down,” added Parsons.
But the money never materialised.
Another alleged victim, Michael McVicar, claimed to have lost €1.5 million, while up to a dozen other expats have apparently lost between €100,000 and €1 million.
Collectively the group claim they are owed €6.28 million.
The Olive Press discovered that Williams left Llys Meddyg Llangristiolus, in North Wales, almost a decade ago after being declared bankrupt and having his care home company investigated for fraud.
Despite this, he had been able to help set up several companies, including Impact General Trading, in Dubai, and others in Panama.
North Yorkshire’s police fraud squad confirmed to the Olive Press that it was looking into the Williams back in 2018.
The couple have now both been charged following almost three years of investigations.
Following various denuncias, the Guardia Civil, in Estepona, was also said to be investigating Williams, but no charges have yet to be brought in Spain.
“I totally and utterly deny any allegations,” Williams told the Olive Press back in 2018. He did not reply to further questions.