More NewsThe corridors of power…

The corridors of power...

Sorting through some cardboard boxes in my garage – sorry, freelance writing office – I came across a weathered file marked ‘Dunsdale’. It contained a wad of press cuttings from 15 years ago concerning a certain Robert Miller.

Readers of a certain vintage will know exactly where this is going, but for
the rest, here goes. Miller, a financial adviser, went on the run owing clients
(many of them his relatives) about £20m.

He had checked into the Grosvenor House hotel in Mayfair, then disappeared,
leaving behind bloodstained clothing. He was thought to have fled the country.

The chase lasted more than a week, punctuated by daily revelations in the
press. Photographs showed a suavely handsome character with a mop of dark hair.
In one of the more surreal moments, my good friend Robert Miller, the financial
journalist, found himself writing in The Observer about his namesake.
You couldn’t make it up.

The details emerged after Miller handed himself in. He had tried to commit
suicide, then fled to Sao Paolo in Brazil to seek refuge with his uncle. He was
persuaded to return.

I interviewed Miller, then 40, ahead of his trial and found him rather
likeable. He was charismatic and plausible. It was easy to see how he persuaded
aunts, uncles and friends to entrust their savings to him.

It later came out that he had squandered the money on the usual fraudster’s
mix of homes, cars and jewellery. He had a wife and mistress to keep in style.
He was jailed for six years, and served 21 months in Ford Open Prison in West
Sussex.

I wonder where Miller is now? If anyone knows, please contact me.

Jon Ashworth is a freelance journalist and writer

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