ONE of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’s worst contestants has been jailed for defrauding people for more than £4.5 million.
Jeff Arundell, 75, was humiliated on the ITV show and answered just six questions correctly before walking away with only £1,000.
He was convicted of fraud and money laundering following financial trading involving spread betting he carried out in 2016.
He also used his power of attorney to take £260,000 from his now-late mother, with which he bought a Bentley car.
Arundell – who was jailed for six and a half years – plotted the fraud by telling a friend he had information that shares in pharmaceutical company were due to significantly increase over the coming weeks and told him he should invest.
Members of the friend’s family also invested with Arundell promising he would personally guarantee their stake money of around £100,000 in total.
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After using the money for trades and spread betting in early December 2016, Arundell lied to his victims saying he had lost their money and did not have the funds to repay them.
They reported the fraud to police in January 2017 and an investigation was opened.
Manager of the serious and organised crime investigation team, Dr Kirstie Cogram, said: “Arundell portrayed himself as an experienced trader in the financial markets [and] seemingly thought little of defrauding his own family by taking cash from his elderly mother, nor using money from a friend and their family to bankroll his spread betting efforts.”
She said his actions were “deplorable”, made worse by his lies meaning two trials were required.
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On the show, aired in March 2000, Arundell answered just six questions before having to leave the hot seat before providing an incorrect answer to the £4,000 question – using two of his lifelines in the process.
He needed to use the 50/50 to identify that an anaconda is a snake.
Arundell then used the “Ask the Audience” lifeline to identify the number 2000 in Roman numerals (MM).
But he was left with just £1,000 when asked which policy of a return to traditional British values was launched by John Major in 1993.
Arundell guessed “Citizens Charter”, instead of the correct answer “Back to Basics”.
He still had the “phone a friend” option left, but was forced to walk away with just £1,000.