Man Sentenced to Over Five Years Imprisonment for Money Laundering

Sascha Cordonnier and Warren Radloff

On 9 September 2021 a man was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months imprisonment for money laundering after a joint investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the City of London Police. He has also been disqualified from being a company director for 10 years.

He had laundered £2.5 million, the proceeds of several overseas investment frauds, through numerous accounts and front companies in different jurisdictions, as part of an international organized crime group. He used his knowledge gained as an investment advisor to launder the proceeds and to help the fraudsters defraud their victims.

He relocated to the Ukraine to try and avoid detection but was eventually arrested. Mark Steward, the Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA reiterated the FCA’s commitment to bring to justice to those individuals who break the law and reminded investors to check the FCA register as part of their due diligence before any investments.

The FCA will now focus on the confiscation proceeding against the man to seize any illegal gains from the money laundering operation.

Read the full FCA article here.

IFA Banned From Working in Financial Services

Kristian Sotiriou and Thomas Bevan

The FCA has banned an independent financial adviser (IFA) director from performing any regulated activity.

In March 2017, whilst the IFA was an approved person and already on bail for a similar offence, he attempted to meet a child following sexual grooming. He has been sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

The FCA later found that he had not been transparent about the arrest and had withheld significant information regarding being in custody in respect of the offence, which led to his conviction and the decision by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) not to renew his Statement of Professional Standing.

With everything considered, including the individual’s conviction for a serious offence, albeit one not connected to financial dishonesty, the FCA no longer deems him to be a fit and proper person to perform any function in relation to any regulated activity. They believe it is clear that he lacks “integrity and good reputation.”

Click here for the full article.

Individual Sentenced to 28 Months Imprisonment for Forging a Trust Deed

Laura Febbrari and Darragh Finn

In July 2021, an individual pleaded guilty to forging a trust deed in an attempt to help their client minimise payments owed to victims. In September 2021, the individual received a director disqualification order of 8 years and was sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment.

Proceedings were brought by the FCA against the individual’s client for operating unauthorised collective investment schemes. In 2018, the client and others were ordered by the High Court to pay £16.9 million in restitution to investors in the scheme.

The client had property ownership, which should have been declared to the FCA. However, the individual forged a trust deed that hid his client’s interest in the property, to avoid the property being sold for restitution. The property has now been sold and proceeds have been distributed to affected investors.

Mark Steward, Executive Director of FCA Enforcement and Market Oversight, said that the individual “deliberately disguised the true ownership of a central London property worth more than £1 million, frustrating payment of compensation to victims of the client’s unauthorised investment scheme. This is a serious facilitating offence. The FCA will pursue those who facilitate financial crime as well as principal offenders.’

To read the full article click here.

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