South East Wales

Martin Rhys-Jones jailed in US for conning investors

Martin Rhys-Jones Image copyright Wales News Service

A Cardiff man has been sentenced to six years in prison by a court in the United States after admitting money laundering in a $2.9m fraud.

Martin Rhys-Jones, 52, the future father-in-law of Wales and Real Madrid footballer Gareth Bale, pleaded guilty earlier this year to conning investors into buying almost worthless shares.

About 250 people were scammed, the court in Buffalo, New York, was told.

Customers were told they were buying more valuable, regular shares of stock.

The US Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York said the fraud "conned investors in the United Kingdom and Canada into buying nearly worthless shares of restricted stock at severely inflated prices".

Engaged

The sums involved ranged from about $2,000 to more than $360,000 in one instance.

Rhys-Jones was in a Spanish prison from May 2012 to March 2013 before being extradited to a US jail. He has already spent four years, three months behind bars.

Rhys-Jones is a father-of-five who is reported to have left Cardiff for Barcelona in 2005.

His daughter Emma has been Gareth Bale's partner since she and the football star were at Whitchurch High School in Cardiff together.

They now have two daughters and are engaged to marry.

Another of Rhys-Jones's daughters, Charlotte, is the partner of another sports star, Wales rugby international Taulupe Faletau.

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