A BUSINESSMAN who defrauded his friend out of £2.3m and 'destroyed his life' has been jailed. 

Christopher Angus, 39, was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court today after admitting one count of fraud against Aaron Wall. 

He lost millions of pounds after an investment went 'dreadfully wrong', then 'foolishly' doctored bank statements to get Mr Wall to plough more money into the failing scheme. 

Details had first been revealed at his first hearing in January. 

The court heard Angus, of Kingston Road in North Oxford, is father to a 13-year-old daughter. 

He appeared in the dock wearing a smart pinstripe grey suit, having already pleaded guilty. 

Sentencing, Judge Nigel Daly said: "This is an abuse of a position of power, but more importantly, a position of trust."

He said the result was the 'complete destruction of Mr Wall's life', adding: "I don't know what got into you - it may well be that once you started, you simply couldn't stop. 

"But it's had a devastating effect, no doubt on you, but also on Mr Wall."

He sentenced him to five years and four months in prison. 

Mr Wall, an American national, befriended Angus in 2006 while the pair were working as internet marketing specialists. 

He was living in the Philippines over the period of the fraud, between January 2016 and October 2017. 

Angus pitched him an investment idea in 2015 and Mr Wall initially transferred £100,000, with sums thereafter accumulating to £2.34m in total. 

Angus amended screenshots of the accounts to make it look as if the sum was growing. 

By September 2017, he pretended that one account contained more than £823,000 and another more than £9.5m.

In fact, they contained a collective total of £1.18.

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Defending, James Riley said: "He [Angus] was a very successful businessman with an online marketing company he had run for over 10 years.

"That company was wound up so he could concentrate on this investment."

He explained how Angus had a money-making idea that he was confident would work, but the market took an unpredicted turn. 

Mr Riley explained: "The strategy essentially was a series of gambles on the Volatility Index. 

"He was using an algorithm and he didn't think there was a way that he could have lost. 

"Things went dreadfully wrong from day one. 

"[The index] dropped below 13, which he had never seen happen before in the entirety of his working life.

"Foolishly, he sought to gamble bigger to make up some of the losses.

"He put all of his own money into it as well."

The court did not hear how Mr Wall eventually found out, but once he did he reported it to police. 

Judge Daly said Angus knew he had committed a crime, referring to an email he had sent acknowledging that 'I could go down for 10 years'. 

Prosecuting, Julian Lynch added: "He said he was scared and trying to buy time in order to get the money back."

Mr Lynch read extracts from a victim statement written by Mr Wall, highlighting how he had 'lost trust in a man he considered his friend'. 

He added: "It had significant effects on the status of his family relationships and on his wife. 

"There was a newborn child in the family and there were escalated health problems for Mr Wall's wife, which appeared to be exacerbated by the stress caused by the loss of the large sum of money."

Angus has since paid back £10,000 and liquidated all of his assets to facilitate this, the court heard. 

Mr Riley said Angus, who grew up in Johannesburg in South Africa, is 'full of remorse'.

He said he started his career as a Microsoft engineer and went on to earn in excess of £200,000 annually.

Judge Daly said to Angus: "You are a very well-educated man who is extremely experienced in matters of finance - you worked in this area legitimately, earning a lot of money. 

"You decided to go into spread betting - gambling - and lost not only your money, but that of your friend. 

"You continued to take more money from him to try to cover it up, convincing him to invest more by lying about the performance of the funds."

Angus was given full credit for his guilty plea and will be allowed out on licence after serving half of his sentence.