A RYEDALE fraudster who convinced police investigators he only had £50 has been forced to hand over more than £600,000 from his pension funds.

Former City trader James David Rintoul, now 61, was jailed for nearly three years in 2013 for a £1.1 million investment fraud on nine investors.

In the same year, prosecutors told York Crown Court a police investigation into his financial assets had uncovered only £50.

But six years later a new police specialist financial investigation discovered he had two pension funds.

A report before York Crown Court said one contained nearly £500,000 and the other £150,000 before tax and other deductions.

The Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, ordered that Rintoul hand over £645,323 to the authorities and that the money be given to Rintoul’s victims.

Rintoul did not contest the order.

He set up oil investment firm Fuel Pulse Ltd, of Yorkersgate, Malton, in 2008 and ran it until it collapsed, leaving investors tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket.

The judge confirmed the decision made in 2013 that Rintoul had benefited by £1,123.181.50 by his crimes. The money will be distributed in proportion to the losses each investor sustained.

In 2013, York Crown Court heard Rintoul planned to use his extensive knowledge of oil trading and his reputation in the City to turn a profit for a handful of friends and business partners.

However, following the worldwide recession in 2008 Rintoul found himself having to attract more investors to put money in to the scheme, while falsifying the extent of his losses to existing clients.

He sent expensive Christmas hampers to his clients in a bid to make them think there were no problems with their investments.

Eventually when a client in good faith gave him more than £250,000 to invest, he used it instead to try and patch up the business.

After he handed himself in and admitted defrauding investors he was jailed for two years and

eight months and banned from being a company director for seven years.