Former Dunfermline Athletic footballer swindled woman out of £100k life savings to fund gambling addiction
A former Dunfermline Athletic football player swindled a friend out of her £100,000 life savings to pay for his gambling addiction.
Andrew Hawkins, 45, told Fiona Anderson he would invest her money in a sports hedge fund and property in Scotland.
Southwark Crown Court in London heard that the ex footballer, who was privately educated in Edinburgh, spent £102,420 on his gambling habit before fleeing to New York - but he was caught and extradited earlier this year.
The Scottish Sun reports that a former pal described him as a “fantastic footballing talent” with a privileged upbringing who went on to have a “catastrophic fall from grace.”
Ms Anderson had recently gone through a divorce and was forced to take on debt to pay her mortgage and tax bill. She first complained to police in 2012 but they did not attempt to prosecute Hawkins until 2018 when he had moved permanently to New York for work and remarried.
Hawkins, originally from Edinburgh and educated at George Heriot’s School, was extradited back to the UK in March after being arrested in the US in January.
Ms Anderson told the court: “Andrew has defrauded me of my entire life savings.
“He targeted me when I was recovering from the trauma of a divorce, and was at my lowest point.
“I requested some of the money back from Andrew, and when he said it was on the way, he blamed the delays on the banks and two solicitors.
“I realised after a year I was not going to get the money back.
“I could not believe I had been defrauded by someone who was my ex-husband’s friend for 20 years.
“It made me feel humiliated, but as a grown woman, I had worked so hard for this money and had lost it all.
“I no longer think about the fraud every day, but it had a profound effect on me.”
Hawkins, now an events manager, was told by Judge Jeffrey Pegden that he deprived Ms Anderson of more than £102,000 in an eight month period in 2010 and that he lied to her about investing the money.
The Judge said the money was her life savings, acquired over a period of about ten years.
He added: “Your criminal conduct had a devastating effect on her life, she lost everything she had worked for.
“You forced her into debt, you forced her to borrow, you humiliated her. You fobbed her off with lies because you wanted her money for your gambling habit.”
The court heard Hawkins’ gambling addiction started when he was playing for Dunfermline in 1995 as a teenager after leaving school in Edinburgh.
Prosecutor Oliver Kirk said he had told Ms Anderson about the investment opportunity and that, as time went on, she wanted to release her investment to pay bills and asked him to return the money - but this was met with a series of excuses.
As time went on she ran out of money herself and had to borrow money from her partner to pay her tax bill. It became apparent she was a victim of fraud.
Hawkins, of Wester Coates in Edinburgh, admitted one count of fraud by false representation, between February 2010 and December 2012.