I have absolutely no information on this

But when we do get it all I think it’s going to be an interesting story.

The company offices of Bernie Ecclestone’s son-in-law have been raided by police investigating a multi-million pound fraud.
James Stunt, 34, claims he is the victim of a substantial theft from his international gold bullion firm Stunt and Co.
The wealthy businessman, who married Petra Ecclestone in a lavish ceremony five years ago, is preparing to return from Los Angeles to deal with the crisis.
He suspects he has been betrayed by people who took advantage of his ‘hands off’ approach. The police operation began on Thursday afternoon when officers raided historic jewellery wholesaler Fowler Oldfield.

The thing being that no one can really explain where the money comes from. Sure, supplying bullion, wholesaling gold jewelry. But those are businesses where people think there’s a lot of profit, where there’re fat margins. They aren’t, they’re highly, highly, competitive and thus low margin businesses.

The jewelry business does supposedly £100 million in turnover. People will think, wow, that’s a lot of gold! But gross margins of what, 10% maybe? Less possibly? Then the operating costs of the firm. Difficult to run a Mayfair mansion plus a fleet of supercars on that.

Stunt & Co registered in November 2014, not filed accounts yet (not due).

I just think it’s all going to be very interesting.

25 thoughts on “I have absolutely no information on this”

  1. Tim

    Slim pickings on TRUK – he must be travelling or some such. However, the post ‘Ideas and ego’ where he unwittingly compares himself with Hitler following a trip to Munich is probably worth a post…..

  2. Depends on what level of the business you mean.
    Back when I used to be in jewelry retail, the mark-up on stuff the shop bought in was 100%. Looking at shop windows now & having some idea of the input, I’d say it was higher.
    But jewelry is a bit of a strange business. Your customers rarely have any idea of what they’re actually buying. The metal content is often a small portion of any piece & gold isn’t that expensive, anyway. The value’s in the work. And there’s the whole Veblen goods thing. We used to make stuff to sell ourselves, from a small shop out in the suburbs. But we also used make for Libertys & couple of exclusive West End shops. So you could easily see almost exactly the same product, made by the same person, at the same bench at three or four times the price, depending on where you shopped.
    Profits, of course, are another thing. As a small retailer, our overheads were proportionally higher than a high street chain. And Bond Street or Burlington Arcade’s another world altogether.
    Bullion, of course, is nothing to do with jewelry. Although, if you got your hands on some moody gold, alloying it down & making it up would be a good way of turning it into cash

  3. There seems to be two different events, money laundering and embezzlement. Duhmail writers don’t seem to be able to sort them out. No need to, cos Petra Ecclestone.

  4. If it is a criminal exercise involving gold it is either money laundering which would be stupid. Or it is VAT fraud. Which would not be.

    My money would be on the latter.

  5. VP, it is a rather disturbing post by Murph. I have strolled quite a lot around the centre of Munich and never for one second thought that maybe Hitler had walked the same street or dined in the same restaurant. It is a weird sort of projection. The closest I got was a conscious attempt to follow the trail of the Putsch. But that was curiosity rather than preparation for a re-enactment or a meditation on what links me to Hitler.

  6. Incidentally. Fiddles.
    Go make yourself a dozen bracelets & send them off to be hallmarked. And you’ve a papertrail for the gold turned into bracelets. Now extend the bracelets into 30″ necklaces. Flog the necklaces, but show them on the books as overpriced bracelets. Who’s to know?
    Antiques? As long as you start with a hallmark, who’s to know how much of the piece is original?

  7. bloke in spain – “Go make yourself a dozen bracelets & send them off to be hallmarked. And you’ve a papertrail for the gold turned into bracelets. Now extend the bracelets into 30″ necklaces.”

    Those are bloody long necklaces if they reach all the way to Chelsea. This is not a small time tourist rip off. This is a big criminal enterprise if a criminal enterprise it is. How many would you have to flog to make a million?

    The only people with that sort of money are, I would guess, Gulf Arabs moving cash around for various reasons – and the VAT man. I would go with the VAT man.

  8. Diogenes

    He is a very strange individual – in times past he would have been considered a fringe crank I think, and indeed even now the people who he seems to most resemble are either the blogger ‘Another Angry Voice’ who is basically a Yorkshire accented copy of the KCNA Feed, or on the right the likes of Alex Jones or David Icke.

    The post is indeed deeply concerning, as many of his are. But oddly he does hit upon a kernel of truth – that ideas in politics are crucial, possibly even more so than people. Given almost 99.99% of his ideas are bad, I think given his ideas are so pernicious, the labelling of him as ‘one of the most dangerous men in Britain’ is an accurate one.

  9. Your customers rarely have any idea of what they’re actually buying.

    Which is why somebody like me will pay 3 times the price for some item in Tiffany’s on 5th Avenue rather than in an independent shop on 46th Street: I pay the hefty premium just to be sure I’m not being sold a piece of glass set into stainless steel.

  10. ”James Stunt”

    You gotta be kidding. That’s going to raise a few smiles in F1 circles.

    An my real name is Carlos Fandango.

  11. Well it makes sense that he’d be obsessed with Hitler’s rise to power, as he is of course the most prominent Dachau survivor.

  12. TN, jeez 5th ave. When I got married the wife to be said “do you mind if I use my grans engagement ring”. It was all I could do to stop my self hi fiving the air and yelling “yes there is a god”. Then my gran gave her the wedding ring.
    All I have ever bought is an eternity ring when I got made redundant once. Not saying I begrudged it, and she wears it every day, but I could have got some more tools for the garage.

  13. The DM and other rags always call him ‘wealthy businessman James Stunt’ but never give much of a clue where his wealth comes from, apart from his wife of course.

  14. “The DM and other rags always call him ‘wealthy businessman James Stunt’”

    Ah English adjectives eh?

  15. Matthew

    Maybe he will recount how he visited the actual prison and saw the actual cell within which the slobbbering genius was banged up…his kids were thinking that our father could have been locked up too.

  16. But to get to the point of this report, Stunt must be the victim, if he can be believed, of a highly organised operation. Smfs is right to suspect a VAT angle. I throw the Mafia or organised crime into the mix. How many companies deal with millions of pounds of gold? The answer is probably in a high security facility near Wembley stadium

  17. Even before I discovered this blog, I thought the whole James Stunt thing was weird…

    Now I have no idea about Petra, but I doubt Bernie is a fool even at his advanced age, so I wonder what the dynamic is there.

    Mind you, I do recall reading an article that was pointing out that Bernie’s early fortune is a bit shrouded in mystery too.

    I can also tell you that wholesaling gold bullion is not even a 10pc margin business. Retail bullion maybe, maybe.

    Look forward to hearing more about this

  18. @oblong – there are ALL kinds of stories about the early days of Bernie and his closer chums that would turn your hair white and get Tim into trouble. Let’s just never forget that he started as a used car dealer in Bromley

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