A gang of Seventh Day Adventists who tricked trusting churchgoers out of more than £3.2million in a stock market scam are facing years behind bars.
Lindani Mangena(pictured right) – condemned by the judge at his trial as "pitiless and arrogant" – posed as a City high-flier to betray more than 1,000 Seventh Day Adventists with a mixture of financial gobbledygook and shared religious beliefs.
Some investors, believing God had trusted him, remortgaged, only to lose their homes and life savings. Others struggled to stave off repossession. Many had to forgo holidays, and large numbers were plunged into depression. One victim even gave up his job to join the company.
The court heard that Mangena and two partners set up a City office near the Bank of England and offered a variety of bogus investments with "guaranteed" profits.
One victim lost nearly £200,000, and the sophisticated seven-month con saw clients hand over a "minimum" of £3.2m altogether. They offered a variety of bogus investments with massive "guaranteed" profits.
Housewives, pensioners and widows, as well as "cleaners and others in similarly humble jobs", handed over their hard-earned cash, as did building surveyors, IT consultants and other professionals.
Much of their money was frittered away on a shopping list of multi-million pound properties, expensive cars and exotic holidays.
One hotel stay alone - in the glittering royal suite at Dubai's seven-star Burj al Arab hotel - costed £55,815.