Patrick Spiteri: two years’ jail for fraud of double Oscar winner Bricusse

Lawyer who conned investors gets two years’ jail in £150,000 fraud complaint by the late Leslie Bricusse

Patrick Spiteri (left) and the late Oscar-winning composer Leslie Bricusse
Patrick Spiteri (left) and the late Oscar-winning composer Leslie Bricusse

Leslie Bricusse, the double Oscar winner and international composer, died at 90 in 2021 – yet the conman whom he hoped to bring to justice 20 years ago, disbarred lawyer Patrick Spiteri, will have to serve two years in jail for defrauding him of £150,000.

In a cruel reminder of the delays that plague the Maltese courts, the court sentence comes two decades after Bricusse, who once sought residence in Malta, filed a police complaint against Spiteri, a conman facing a slew of criminal cases.

Soon after giving his evidence before Magistrate Jacquline Padovani Grima back in 2005, Bricusse had sworn never to return to Malta, claiming to be “once bitten, twice shy”.

Spiteri – who has since been extradited from England to face charges in Malta – had then managed to delay proceedings with requests for endless rogatory letters to cross-examine the plaintiff, apart from offering Bricusse a mere $3,000 in a bid to drop the court action against him.

In 1996, Spiteri was recommended to Bricusse by his lawyer in France. Spiteri advised him to invest in Malta government bonds, and obtained power-of-attorney from the composer, took the money, and never invested it as promised. “A cheque of Lm19,000 was once sent by Spiteri to invest in bonds, but the cheque bounced, and it now appears that none of my money was invested,” Bricusse had told the court.

Bricusse had said Spiteri had even told him one time that he was waiting for “instructions from the Office of the Prime Minister to be relayed to the finance minister so that the funds could be released without any tax paid.”

Spiteri “was laughing in his face” about the money, adding that as he repeatedly attempted to get information about his money from the flamboyant lawyer.

Spiteri, who is facing fraud and misappropriation charges in a €7.4 million case dating back 20 years, had been arrested in Surrey, England in 2017 and extradited to Malta.

Spiteri was eventually granted bail on several conditions, amongst them that he not leave the Maltese islands.