Two Norfolk-based financial advisers have plead guilty to using a high-risk investment scheme to defraud more than 200 investors out of pension savings worth £17m.
The two brothers, Alan and Russell Taylor, ran both financial advice firm Taylor and Taylor Associates and were directors and shareholders of investment manager Vantage Investment Group.
The pair were accused of placing around £17m from their advice business into a Vantage run fund without informing customers that it was a high-risk venture or that they were also involved in that company.
A police investigation was launched in 2015 after clients contacted Action Fraud regarding their losses.
At Norwich Crown Court yesterday, prosecutors said that the pair had produced fraudulent client records, convincing vulnerable and elderly clients to hand over access to their pensions, the North Norfolk News reports.
Their scam bet client money “on the spin of a roulette wheel” to “line their own pockets”, the paper reports prosecutors saying, as the Taylors both admitted one count of conspiracy to defraud.
Police say that the client money went to fund lavish expenses like a private boat and expensive cars.
Originally, the pair were charged with seven fraud related offenses each in 2016.
The FCA closed Vantage after deciding it did not have the required permissions to operate an alternative investment fund.
Taylor and Taylor shut in 2015, which the firm put partly down to increasing regulatory costs.
Money Marketing previously revealed that, as of January last year, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme had already paid out more than £3m in compensation claims against the firm.
119 successful claims had been lodged, with claimants entitled to an average of £28,500. Prosecutors said at court that clients typically lost nearly half of their total pensions with the Taylors.