A DODDINGTON man jailed for 10 years for his part in a £34 million con has had his sentence cut by top judges.
Kevin Foster, 53, of Seed Road, was given the decade-long sentence at Harrow Crown Court last April after being found guilty of 14 counts of theft and deception relating to get-rich-quick schemes.
However, on Thursday, March 31, judges at the Court of Appeal quashed the theft convictions and reduced Foster's sentence to nine years.
Lord Justice Elias said Foster's actions did not constitute theft since not all the investors who handed him cash specified how it was to be used.
Therefore, when Foster spent money on himself rather than investing it, he had not technically stolen that money.
More than 8,000 people from Swale and beyond invested with Foster, who bet on football matches and horse races or put it in pyramid schemes.
His business was known as KF Concepts and he used flamboyant roadshows to promote it throughout the UK.
The Serious Fraud Office, which brought the case, claimed Foster spent the majority of the money he gained on flash cars and his £600,000 home, which he kitted out with a swimming pool, hot tub, Koi carp breeding pond and a range of exotic animals.
However, speaking exclusively to the Gazette last year, just before her husband was sentenced, Elaine Foster, 46, said the swimming pool was a present to the family from her mother, Foster won his Ferrari Spyder sports car in a competition, and other elaborate ornaments and statues were gifts from investors.
Several people spoke to the Gazette when news of the original sentence broke to say they had been conned by Foster, while others contacted the paper to protest his innocence.
So many people arrived at Harrow Crown Court to support Foster when his sentence was announced that some had to wait outside the courtroom.
Mrs Foster, who still lives in the house she shared with her husband and their four children, was unavailable for comment on the reduction as the Gazette went to press.