The Only Way Is Essex star Lewis Bloor has appeared in court over allegations he conspired to defraud investors through the marketing and selling of coloured diamonds.
Bloor, 29, is accused with five other men of “dishonestly” marketing and selling the diamonds for investment purposes, while knowing they did not represent a legitimate investment opportunity.
The court heard there were some 50 victims of the alleged fraud, while the amount of money lost was “in excess” of £3 million.
Bloor, who joined the cast of the ITV2 show in 2013 for three years, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday on a conspiracy to defraud charge.
He wore a dark suit and open-collared shirt for the hearing, speaking only to confirm his name, address and nationality.
Bloor, who also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2016, was in court alongside co-defendants Joseph Jordan, George Walters, Max Potter, Nathan Wilson and Simon Akbari, who are also facing a conspiracy to defraud charge.
It is alleged that the conspiracy took place between May 17 2013 and June 19 2014. No pleas were entered during the hearing.
District judge John Zani granted Bloor, of Buckhurst Hill, Essex, Akbari, 25, of Loughton, Essex, Jordon, 26, of Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, Potter, 22, of Enfield, Middlesex, Walters, 27, from Beckenham in Kent, and Wilson, 25, of Brentwood, Essex, unconditional bail.
Another co-defendant, Danny Chappell, 52, of Bexleyheath, Kent, is accused of entering an arrangement to facilitate the acquisition of criminal property, namely by seeking money for completing renovation works by or on behalf of another person when no such works had been undertaken.
The allegation against Chappell, who was also granted unconditional bail, is alleged to have taken place between May 27 2014 and May 31 2014.
The case is due to return to Southwark Crown Court on September 19 for a hearing at 9.30am.