October 6, 2011
A self-styled lord who led the lifestyle of an international playboy and friend to the stars was yesterday unmasked as the ‘ringmaster’ of a £4.5million global fraud. Edward Davenport charmed the rich and famous, with Kate Moss and Princes William and Harry among the guests of raucous parties at his £30million mansion.
‘Lord Davenport’, 45, whose nickname was Fast Eddie, was jailed for seven years and eight months in September for conning 51 victims, including Princess Diana’s wedding dress designer Elizabeth Emanuel, who lost her life savings.
Davenport cashed in on the credit crunch by offering bogus start-up loans to entrepreneurs desperate for cash. Victims were promised millions of pounds of credit, but were asked to pay for ‘due diligence’ investigations into their companies before they could have the loan.
Davenport and his lieutenants, Peter Riley, 64, and Borge Andersen, 66, pocketed £4.5million in deposits and advance fees but never paid out the promised £2billion in loans to entrepreneurs from as far afield as India, Canada and Dubai.