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Ex-Premier League football player appears in court accused of fraud at one of UK's biggest churches

by Sophie Drew

An ex-Premier League footballer has appeared in court charged with fraud by false representation after losing £3.5m investments on behalf of one of the UK's biggest churches. 

Richard Rufus, 47, told Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) that he had worked with JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, the court heard.

It's also claimed he told church trustees that former England player Rio Ferdinand had invested with him.

Rufus is also accused of scamming friends and family out of £15m.

The Ex-Charlton Athletic defender, of Anerley Hill, Crystal Palace, offered to work for KICC for free, overseeing their investments. 

He denies three counts of fraud by false representation, one count of possessing criminal property and one count of carrying out a regulated activity when not authorised.

His trial is due to last for three weeks.

Rufus was initially investigated in 2017 by the City of London police. The Charity Commission had previously called the church trustees "reckless" for allowing him access to £5m of KICC funds in order to make his investments. 

The former football player played 288 matches for Charlton, scoring 12 goals. 

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