As a young child in the 1980s, Anthony Constantinou lost his father, Aristos, a fashion tycoon who was shot dead in a still-unsolved murder on a London street known as Billionaires’ Row.
Three decades later, Constantinou junior appeared to have bounced back from the tragedy, heading up a fast-growing trading firm on the 21st floor of a new skyscraper at the heart of the City.
A luxury lifestyle ensued. In September 2014, he married his wife in a 2.5 million pounds ($3.1 million) ceremony on the Greek island of Santorini, flying guests over in a private jet.
He met Princess Anne when his company sponsored a London boat show in 2015, and hosted sports stars at a corporate box at Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea Football Club.
The extravagance seemingly stemmed from money inherited from his deceased father which he’d used to build a foreign-exchange trading company, Capital World Markets. It wafted an air of legitimacy to prospective clients that disappeared in an instant after police raided Constantinou’s office in the Salesforce Tower in 2015 following a tip-off.
The charts on his traders’ computers were fiction, so were his claims of riches. The fuel for his lavish way of living had been stolen from small-time investors who’d put as much as 70 million pounds into what was really a Ponzi-style scheme. Many were regular people who ended up losing their life savings.
Constantinou, now 41, was found guilty of seven counts of fraud and money laundering by a jury after a near