Father of Gareth Bale’s girlfriend faces American prison over Spanish based scam

Potential WhatsApp privacy flaws exposed by Spanish hacker. Image: Christian Wiediger/ Unsplash

THE father of Real Madrid’s Welsh superstar Gareth Bale’s girlfriend, and grandfather to his child, is facing a ten year stint in an American prison for his role in a huge investor fraud scheme based in Spain.

Martin Rhys-Jones has been remanded in custody across the pond for more than two years awaiting trial for the £3 million Barcelona based telemarketing scam, and has now pled guilty to wire fraud, which carries a maximum ten year sentence.

The scam, which took place between 2006 and 2009, was known as the ‘boiler room’ fraud and saw roughly 250 British and Canadian investors lose significant sums of money after being tricked into buying worthless stock. 

At a hearing in Buffalo in New York State the court heard how some of the proceeds were transferred through a bank in the west of the state, giving local judges jurisdiction over the crime. 

The 52-year-old father to Emma Rhys-Jones, Bale’s long term girlfriend, moved to Spain in 2005 and was arrested with 12 others during police swoops in 2012. 

Picked up in London, he skipped bail and fled to Spain, which extradited him to the US the following year. That little trick saw him denied bail by the American judges who also saw him as an enhanced flight risk due to his daughter’s millions. 

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