Con Man, 73, Sentenced to 97 Months in Prison

A British confidence man who posed as a retired general and a friend of Bob Dole and Donald Trump was sentenced to 97 months in prison Friday for swindling investors out of millions of dollars through a commodity brokerage scam run out of a plush office on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Marc Debden-Moss has failed to show any remorse for his criminal deeds, U.S. District Judge Kim M. Wardlaw said as she sentenced the 73-year-old defendant.

Citing Debden-Moss’s age, his lawyer appealed to the judge for a light sentence or permanent deportation to Britain, but the judge rejected those pleas.

Luring investors from as far away as Australia, Saudi Arabia and Singapore, Debden-Moss persuaded his victims to wire him “refundable” deposits of $20,000 or more to secure large quantities of sugar, fertilizer and other commodities at below-market prices.


He claimed the commodities were discounted because they were aboard ships and had to be sold immediately. But the goods never materialized and the deposits were rarely returned.