Teenage trader lost £500,000 as he led luxury lifestyle with supercars
PUBLISHED: 06:30 28 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:14 28 September 2019
A teenager who drove luxury cars while claiming to be a millionaire trader lost £500,000 of investors’ cash and has been reported to authorities.
Morgan Reeve, from Hunstanton, set up Morgan FX Limited in July last year and bragged on Instagram about how his business, trading foreign currencies, was funding a luxury lifestyle.
Foreign exchange traders, known as Forex, bet on movements in the value of a currency and it can lead to huge gains - as well as huge losses.
Mr Reeve, now 20, posted photos of a Range Rover with the personalised number plate "DOIIAAR", as well as pictures of two Mercedes-Benz cars, worth more than £100,000 each.
Underneath some of the pictures he wrote '#forexlifestyle' 'Trading = success' and 'daddy didnt (sic) pay for this trading did'.
His company's website, meanwhile, shows a wad of £50 notes spread across the table of a London hotel room. Another photo shows Louis Vuitton and Givenchy shopping bags.
The website boasts: "We have years of experience in the Forex marketplace with proven results and a lifestyle to match."
But his firm never traded or had a bank account, according to the family's solicitor.
Instead he invested customers' money through his own online trading account, text messages sent to one investor show.
We can today reveal:
Mr Reeve repeatedly lied to one customer about the value of his investments
He should have registered with regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) but did not
He now claims to have lost all the money he was given to invest, totalling more than £500,000
He has been reported to Action Fraud and the FCA
He admitted falsifying the figures in his trading account to convince one customer he had £12m.
A spokesman for the FCA said Forex trading was a "regulated activity", meaning companies and individuals trading other people's money through Forex had to be registered with them, but they confirmed Morgan FX Limited and Mr Reeve were not.
'The most frustrating thing'
Paul McMillan, inset below right, who runs a garage in Wisbech, was lucky. He managed to get his first investment back from Mr Reeve with a handsome profit after months of chasing him.
But he was told earlier this month he would not be getting the rest of his returns.
"In some ways you think 'how could I be so gullible?'," Mr McMillan said. "Then in other ways I think 'well I did get three times my money back'."
Mr Reeve used to come into Mr McMillan's garage to get his car repaired and he told him how much money he was making from Forex trading, so he decided to have a go.
Mr McMillan, 61, originally invested £10,000 in October 2018 and would get a text message most weeks saying how much it was now worth.
The amounts Mr Reeve was claiming Mr McMillan had made rocketed and the businessman invested more, putting in £40,000.
"It didn't ring huge alarm bells because he was spending big money," Mr McMillan said.
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Mr Reeve claimed in February that Mr McMillan's balance was almost £100,000.
But by that point he had been trying to get his money back for five months and was hit by a wall of excuses.
In text messages to Mr McMillan from October last year up to September this year, Mr Reeve wrote he could not transfer the money because he was being investigated for money laundering, had run over his phone with his car, had had his bank account locked and was being investigated by the FCA.
In March, however, Mr Reeve paid Mr McMillan £120,000.
Mr McMillan then invested another £20,000 which, despite chasing until September this year, has never been returned.
He had even recommended Mr Reeve to a friend who went on to invest and he said has not had anything returned.
In an email, which Mr Reeve told Mr McMillan he sent to investors, he claimed his clients would get 20pc back a month and guaranteed no loss.
He even told Mr McMillan in a text message that he could make such large amounts because he had inside information.
To reassure Mr McMillan that he had the cash, Mr Reeve sent him a video showing the screen of his online trading account with more than £12m in it.
But the trading platform he used, BDSwiss, told Mr McMillan in an email that this amount had been "modified" and Mr Reeve later admitted in a text message he had changed the amounts.
He threatened to report him to police, but Mr Reeve said in text messages that if he did that nobody would get their money back.
Mr McMillan has now reported the case to Action Fraud.
"I have been a mug," he said. "It is the most frustrating thing."
'Everything I've done I regret'
In his most recent text messages, sent earlier in September, Mr Reeve admitted to Mr McMillan that he had lost all the money.
He sent him a screenshot of his account showing he was down by more than £500,000. He also admitted lying about the amounts he claimed Mr McMillan's investment was worth.
When Mr McMillan wrote in a text message: "So weekly updates were all lies?", Mr Reeve wrote: "Yes I thought it was going to get better but didn't."
He added: "I made it all up because I thought it would be a good idea."
"Everything I've done I regret. I promise you now it's all lost."
Mr Reeve also said in the messages that it was not a scam but just went wrong.
He set up Morgan FX Limited in July last year and his father Mark joined as a director in April this year, according to Companies House.
Mark Reeve was chairman of King's Lynn construction company Chalcroft - which folded in February owing £12m - and Mr McMillan said he trusted Morgan because his dad was a well-known businessman.
Morgan Reeve declined to comment.
A solicitor for Mark Reeve said his role as a director with Morgan FX Limited had "not been onerous as the company has never traded, even to the point that it does not have a bank account".
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