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Former gold dealer James Stunt to face money laundering and fraud charges

Playboy tycoon James Stunt is to be charged with money laundering and forgery, the Mail can reveal.

But the bankrupt former gold bullion dealer is already protesting his innocence, telling his followers on Instagram: ‘This is the biggest fit-up.’

Mr Stunt, 38, who was once married to Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone, will be summonsed to appear in court in July.

He has been under scrutiny by detectives investigating alleged ‘proceeds of crime’.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman told the Mail last night: ‘The CPS has made a decision to charge James Stunt with offences of money laundering contrary to section 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and forgery contrary to section one of Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, following an investigation by West Yorkshire Police.

Janes Solicitors, representing Mr Stunt, said: ‘Our client denies any criminality and will be contesting the charges.’

Mr Stunt told his 90,000 Instagram followers in a video message that he was innocent, adding: ‘So what’s the headline? “A man they have arrested got charged with money laundering”? I will be tendering a defence.

‘I hope this goes to trial and you can explain how James Stunt, the biggest clueless guy ever, is not a money launderer.

‘I have to now prove my innocence, and I won’t just use my photographic memory.

‘James Stunt is prosecuted for money laundering – this is the biggest miscarriage of justice.’

Once worth an estimated £3billion, Mr Stunt had his assets and cash frozen at the High Court in 2018 at the request of the CPS in a ‘proceeds of crime’ restraint order.

Last June, he was declared bankrupt and, in March this year, his £11million luxury cottage in Belgravia, central London, was repossessed along with his two apartments overlooking Chelsea Harbour, each worth £5million.

Mr Stunt, who updates his Instagram followers almost daily, recently posted: ‘They managed to take my actual house. They already took two other properties, two luxury apartments. This has already cost me £50million.’

Mr Stunt had an acrimonious divorce from Miss Ecclestone, with whom he has three children, in 2017.

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