Suspected con man hit by train

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A 66-year-old financial adviser alleged to have stolen hundreds of thousands of pounds from unwitting investors was killed when he was hit by a train.

Derek Gill, owner of Stratford Financial, died on the railway close to Woburn Sands train station on Tuesday, August 13.

At the time of his death the father of three was being investigated by police on suspicion of fraud.

Gill, who lived with his family in the leafy Medbourne area of Milton Keynes, next to Woodhill Prison, was accused of operating a complex ‘Ponzi’ fraud system in which clients would invest large sums of money in the hope of seeing a significant profit.

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money, or money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from profit earned through the operation.

It is thought Gill’s scheme began to collapse around him in early August when investors began to become suspicious and he was reported to Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting centre.

Gill’s scheme was operated out of his small Stratford Financial office in Crownhill, which has been closed since his death. Callers to the office phone number are informed to contact Action Fraud.

Stratford Financial was linked to Openwork, the UK’s largest multi-tie mortgage and financial advice network, and officials from the company are said to have visited the office in Cochran Close following Gill’s death.

Gill was an appointed representative of Openwork and a spokesperson for the company told the Citizen: “We have been made aware in the last few days of potential irregularities with regard to the professional conduct of Derek Gill.

“The full details of this matter are not yet clear and as such we are unable to provide more information at this stage. However, the matter has been reported to Action Fraud.”

Gill’s victims were promised a large return from their investments which were said to have been paid into high interest offshore bank accounts.

One unknowing investor told the Citizen: “We knew Derek for a decade and he had invested money for myself and my parents.

“We considered him a friend as well as a financial adviser and never dreamt he was doing anything untoward with our money.

“My husband and I are absolutely distraught and wonder if we will ever see our money again.

“I would like any other victims who read this story to get in touch with the newspaper so that we can work together and try and find out what has happened to our money.”