Jersey's Lumiere fraud victims to receive £785,000

Pedro Gonçalves
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Jersey's Lumiere fraud victims to receive £785,000

The group of elderly, vulnerable and financially inexperienced clients who lost £2.7m of their money to convicted fraudster Christopher Paul Byrne, the former boss of Jersey-based Lumiere Wealth, have been awarded over £785,000 in compensation by the Royal Court.

Bryne was sentenced to seven years in prison last year, after being convicted on 16 counts of financial misconduct.

While Byrne's benefit from criminal activity was calculated at almost £1.05m, the investors in court were told that should the sale of his assets return more than the £789,000 

The amounts that could be confiscated from Byrne - which include proceeds from the sale of a St Brelade home and Castle Quay office space - are limited to those from which Byrne directly benefited, local news outlet The Jersey Evening Post reports.

Dublin-born Byrne also has interests in a number of properties in Ireland, and the court heard these were owned through cross-secured investment vehicles.

Advocate Olaf Blakeley, Byrne's lawyer, said the profit his client was said to have made "far exceeds the amount of assets he had".

The advocate urged the court to reduce the confiscated amount to take into account the cost of the sale of Byrne's house.

Advocate Blakeley told Court Byrne wanted investors to "receive as much money back as possible". He added that setting the confiscation amount at a lower level, "rather than one that is the maximum due", would ensure that.

"If the confiscation is a realistic amount, [the victims] will be paid quickly," he said, adding that the amount suggested by the Crown was "unrealistic and would not happen", local daily The Bailiwick Express added.

Compensation orders will be made to Byrne's victims on a percentage basis of the overall total lost. The highest percentage of compensation will go to an 81-year-old partially blind woman who lost almost £1.5m to the fraudster, to whom the Jurats ordered 50% of the available compensation would be paid.

Smaller investors will receive as little as 1% of the £785,000 in compensation.B yrne, who was in court, was given 12 months to pay the compensation. If the money is not paid, he could face another seven years in prison.