“Due to circumstances that no-one could have foreseen, and for his own reasons Lee tragically took his life this week,” read a message posted on a crowdfunding page.
The city of Nice, where former British soldier Lee John was found dead. Photo: AFP
Lee John, a 41-year-old father of two, took to Facebook last week to call for help from his friends after he claimed to have been tricked by a property con man.
He wrote that he was looking for help in tracking down a man who “duped my wife into believing he has high-end property rentals globally and promised her a very well paid job in the south of France.
“He was that convincing with rental agreements and work contracts emails from various apartments etc, that Jen and my boys packed up our house in Toulouse and moved nine hours across country for this new life.”
He said that his family had been left “effectively homeless” with a dog, and €1,100 out of pocket.
According to British media, the former Welsh Guard was found dead in or near the city of Nice just days later. His friends said he had taken his own life.
The page was set up to raise money so the man's family can afford to bring his body back to the UK for a funeral.
It had raised £7,990 by Friday afternoon.
The crowdfunding page said the family had been living in France for the past year “after deciding to try to give their two young sons a better life in the sun”.
The page described the man as a keen rugby player who was “utterly devoted” to his family.