The former manager of Eighties chart- toppers Tears For Fears siphoned off a fortune meant to promote a miracle cure for drunkenness, a court has heard.
Paul King, 53, from Berkshire, was supposed to help market the volcanic ash tablets, called Soba, in Britain.
Instead, he set up a mirror company allegedly to defraud investors out of
their money, London's Southwark Crown Court was told on Tuesday.
Mr King denies two counts of fraudulent trading and embezzling £458,000.
The court heard how Mr King was recruited to the scheme by Christopher Evans and Andrew Crossman, who discovered Soba being sold in South Africa as an alcohol detoxifier.
Convinced it could sell to drinkers who wanted to sober up before driving home, the pair began hunting for backers, including Mr King.
'Rule The World'
The former pop boss promised his partners that his contacts in the music industry could help him raise £600,000 of an estimated £1.3m needed to launch the Soba International Limited.
But according to the prosecution, Mr King, from Crouch Lane in Winkfield, instead set up a company with the same name and divert investors' money into its bank account.
When Companies House alerted his partners to the mirror business, he told them it was inactive and promised to change its name.
School friends Roland Orzabal, from Portsmouth, and Curt Smith, from Bath, formed Tears for Fears after spending their teenage years in bands together.
Their hits included "Shout", and "Everybody Wants To Rule The World".
The trial continues on Wednesday.