A FORMER City trader is facing jail after admitting a multi-million pound fraud, which saw him dubbed the ‘Bernie Madoff’ of Frinton-on-Sea.

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Ian Dickinson, of Nacton Road, Ipswich, conned friends and colleagues out of £3.3million with promises of swift and impressive returns on their money.

However, despite members of Frinton’s rotary, golf, cricket, and tennis club’s placing their trust in the 50-year-old, Dickinson is said to have used their money to fund a lavish lifestyle.

Dickinson – a former Frinton Rotary Club president was a trusted member of Frinton’s social set.

For several years he took advantage of his friends and acquaintances without them realising their money was not being invested.

The con is known as a Ponzi scam, where any payouts to investors come from the money which has been put in by other more recent investors.

Yesterday Dickinson pleaded guilty to two fraud-based charges and was warned he faced jail when his case was adjourned for sentencing by Chelmsford Crown Court.

He admitted participating in a fraudulent business carried on by a sole trader.

This offence related to the period between January 15, 2007, and November 16, 2010.

Dickinson also pleaded guilty to not being authorised in relation to a regulated activity between January 1, 2005, and November 16, 2010.

His downfall came following a long-running investigation by Essex Constabulary.

Dickinson was originally arrested in March 2011. He was charged last September.

Dickinson, who ran his business FX Trading from his former home in Fourth Avenue, Frinton, was the town’s Rotary Club president from 2004-2005.

His sentencing was adjourned until sometime in the three weeks commencing March 25.

Bernie Madoff was one of the top Wall Street financiers who ripped off his wealthy clients for $65billion.

The 74-year-old is currently serving a 150-year jail sentence in a US Federal prison.

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