12 April 2000
Newsreader lost thousands on ostriches
By FWi staff
FORMER ITN newsreader Fiona Armstrong lost almost 20,000 she invested in an ostrich farm, a court heard on Tuesday.
Miss Armstrong, 43, who presented a promotional video for the company, was so impressed by the sales pitch she persuaded her mother to invest 10,000.
Her mother lost all her money, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The hearing at Leicestershire Crown Court heard that the Ostrich Farming Corporation promised investors huge profits and took almost 22 million from over 2000 investors.
Much of the money is said to have been put into offshore accounts, making five men behind the company more than 5m, reports The Times.
Brian Ketchell, 49, a shop owner, and Alan Walker, 57, a second-hand car dealer launched the company in 1994 with 25,000.
The men, from Ruffold, Nottinghamshire have admitted conspiracy to defraud in the period between 1994 and 1996.
Russell Jones, 42, from Doncaster, and his brother, Kevin, 41 from Barnsley deny the charge and are on trial.
A fifth man is also denies conspiracy to defraud and could be tried at a later time.
The trial is continuing and is expected to last several months.
- The Times, 12/04/00, page 14
- Daily Telegraph, 12/04/00, page 15