Southampton Crown Court heard how Robert Morrison had built up a company in satellite TV warranties before going to Australia where he embarked on an insulation business.
But after the latter failed, he returned to England only to discover his original business, which he had left in other people’s hands, had run down.
Morrison, 57, of Catherine Close, West End, admitted possessing mephodrone with intent to supply and possessing the same drug and cannabis, and was jailed for 20 months.
He also admitted having counterfeit money.
Prosecutor Edward Phillips said Morrison was initially arrested after a police officer saw him hand something to another person near the Bitterne Leisure Centre and when his car was searched, almost £8,000 worth of mephodrone as well as 14 bags of cannabis were recovered.
He was released on bail but five weeks later CCTV in Southampton city centre saw him snorting a substance and police found two further bags of mephodrone, worth almost £2,500, in his car.
A search of his home revealed £480 in dud £20 notes.
Again released on bail, he was arrested a third time six weeks later with a small amount of the same drug.