Nicholas Levene
Nicholas Levene said he was sorry for his actions before being jailed for 13 years at Southwark Crown Court. (Reuters)

Nicholas Levene, nicknamed 'Beano' for his love of the comic book, spoke about his remorse for scamming investors out of £32 million before being jailed for 13 years yesterday.

In an interview with the Financial Times on the eve of his incarceration, the 48-year-old fraudster said he was entirely to blame for his predicament.

Levene pleaded guilty to 14 charges, including 12 of fraud, at Southwark Crown Court in September. At his sentencing yesterday, Judge Martin Beddoe said he was addicted to greed.

He is now a prisoner in London's Victorian-built Wandsworth Prison. The 161-year-old facility holds 1,665 prisoners and as of last week was ranked the most "unsafe" in the chief inspector Nick Hardwick's annual review.

Speaking to the FT, Levene said: "I think the City is as much to blame for what happened as I am. Actually, that's not right. I am completely to blame for my situation, but the City taught me a lot of my bad habits.

"I didn't love the money. I know people think that is what it is all about. But I was greedy to be in action; whether I was winning or losing, I was just obsessed with always having a position. That is a very, very bad place to be in.

"I do feel remorse. I have gone through massive lows of shame and guilt and I wish I could morally put right what I have done."

Levene also spoke about the lunches he used to go to with other stockbrokers. He said they would start betting almost immediately. "People would be making a market on how many grapes were in the bowl. Thousands of pounds would be laid out," he said.

He told the IBTimes UK: "We were the bad boys, upstairs the analytical people, they were in fear of us, and we were very intimidating. There was no time for pleasantries and you had to be aggressive, shouting orders to be heard. It was like a poker game and you had to use subterfuge and guile - be manipulative, slippery - and I was good at it."

A former colleague said: "I was a junior market-maker for S.G. Warburg on the Stock Exchange Floor in London. On my first morning I met Beano - he was genuinely a larger-than-life character. But Beano's reputation on the Floor was based on more than just swagger and style - he was indisputably the best broker in the City of London," said a former colleague."

Speaking to the FT, Levene said: "Would I go back to the City? I doubt it, it's going to be a very different place by the time I get out."

Levene was charged with fraud, money-laundering, forgery and false accounting in March last year following a 15-month investigation by the Serious Fraud office.

Sentencing him yesterday, the judge said: "It was well planned and professionally executed, it involved huge sums and huge profits, there were multiple victims whose trust in you was grossly abused, it lasted a very long period of time, it was well concealed and you took further steps to conceal it when it began to be found out."

In a letter to the court, Levene's own father described his son's lifestyle as 'beyond comprehension and understanding explained only by that monster, greed'.