David Bowerman, 35, has pleaded guilty to 33 charges of fraud worth a combined £5m. He encouraged investors, including the former England international, with the promise of huge returns, only to lose their money.
As well as Wright being swindled out of £400,000, he also left his own mother out of pocket by £36,000, while Chelmsford City Football Club’s ex-chairman Peter Stroud lost more than £1m.
Bowerman’s guilty plea, however, did not elicit any sympathy from Stroud.
"He may have pleaded guilty,” Stroud told the Essex Chronicle, “but I don't think this is a sign that he is taking responsibility for what he has done.
"Pleading guilty gives him a shorter sentence – that is all it is about.
"To four counts he hasn't even pleaded guilty. He targeted whoever he could, he is an absolute low-life."
Bowerman has not yet been sentenced, but has been remanded in custody by Judge David Turner QC.
Prosecutor Anthony Swift explained in court: "Some of the money which went to a company Shearer Hare, which was a betting company, was to fund his gambling addiction and he also bought cars."
Bowerman's counsel, Christopher Kerr, told the judge: "He knows it will be a lengthy sentence."