The self-styled ‘Lord’ Davenport’s fine is over criminal profits he made selling London mansion used for sex parties.
Fraudster Edward ‘Fast Eddie’ Davenport has been ordered to pay a £13.5m fine over criminal profits he made selling the London mansion that was used for sex parties and as a set for The King’s Speech.
The 48-year-old self-styled “Lord” Davenport was released from a seven-year prison sentence last year after being convicted of master minding a multi-million pound fraud.
He was forced to sell his six-storey and 24-bedroom property at 33 Portland Place, which was notorious for its parties attended by the “world’s sexual elite”, in order to pay back the money.
The payment was announced today by the Serious Fraud Office following a four-year legal battle.
Judge Peter Testar later told Southwark crown court that Davenport had “caused harm to many people” and ordered him to pay a £12 million confiscation order and £1.9 million in compensation to victims. Another £400,000 of the original confiscation order is still outstanding.
Mark Thompson, the head of the SFO’s proceeds of crime division, said: “Criminals should not be able to benefit from the fruits of their crimes and the sale of the properties should serve as a timely warning to those considering committing fraud that their assets, including family homes, are not protected and remain liable to confiscation.
“The sales and subsequent payments to satisfy the court orders demonstrates the SFO’s commitment to pursuing the recovery of fraudsters’ ill-gotten gains.”
Davenport, who purchased the title, Lord of Giffords, when he bought an estate in Shropshire, shot to prominence in the 1980s when he began hosting the infamous Gatecrasher balls, introducing wealthy sex-starved teenagers to one another before encouraging them to go wild.
The business, which was worth millions at one point later collapsed when Davenport was convicted of VAT fraud.
In 1999 he acquired the 58-year lease on 33 Portland Place for just £50,000 after learning that the government of war torn Sierra Leone, which had been using it as its High Commission, was desperate to offload the run down property.
Six years later he controversially acquired the freehold for the building for £3.75 million and began transforming it into a party palace to match the infamous Playboy Mansion.
Kate Moss filmed a renowned ad for the underwear firm Agent Provocateur in the house, while the late singer Amy Winehouse recorded the video for her hit song Rehab there. None of them knew about Davenport’s illegal activities.
The Oscar winning film The King’s Speech was also partly filmed at 33 Portland Place, with one of the high vaulted dining rooms providing the backdrop for the consulting room where voice therapist, Lionel Logue, treated King George VI.