A millionaire socialite was allegedly murdered by his financial adviser who is also accused of defrauding him of more than half a million dollars to fund a lavish lifestyle, a packed court heard yesterday.
David Jeffs, 36, drove sports cars, dined at fine restaurants and stayed at top hotels using Robert Troyan's cash, a British prosecutor claimed in court.
The financial adviser then allegedly beat his 63-year-old client to death at his home in Mayfair – one of the UK's most expensive neighbourhoods – when he realised his gig could be up, the court heard. Troyan’s body was found by a cleaner in his kitchen on March 8.
“This defendant took advantage of a frail and vulnerable man for his own gains over a long period,” prosecutor Edward Brown told the jury. “This is what was about to come to an end and he was likely to be exposed for what he really was – the consequences were dire.”
Brown is stopping short of calling the killing premediated, although Jeffs allegedly attempted to cover his tracks by purchasing replica clothes to replace those that were bloodstained. Investigators later found Troyan's blood on a briefcase Jeffs was carrying when he visited the socialite’s home.
Jeffs had been employed as Troyan’s financial adviser in 2005 following the death of the millionaire’s romantic partner. Jeffs was to assist in the investment and management of the huge inheritance Troyan received, the court was told.
“Some concerns were raised at the bank when Mr Troyan explained that he had been providing signed blank cheques to his financial adviser, however this, so far as the late Mr Troyan understood, was for investment purposes,” continued Brown.
The relationship between the two men deteriorated in the months prior to Troyan's death, as he told friends how much money Jeffs had lost him, according to Brown. Friends described Troyan as a "larger than life" character, who “trusted strangers too much".
“It was a deception and it worked. Not a penny of the £343,000 was re-invested on Mr Troyan's behalf and it was spent by the defendant on himself and his friends,” said Brown.