Three men have today been jailed for a total of 19 years for their part in a £27.5m boiler room scam.
In the trial at Southwark Crown Court, Tomas Wilmot was sentenced to nine years imprisonment while his sons Kevin and Christopher were given five years each.
The trio were convicted of four offences of conspiracy to defraud which resulted in £14m of losses.
The Wilmots controlled a syndicate of boiler rooms that defrauded around 1,700 investors out of a total of £27.5m. Many of the victims were elderly and in some cases, suffering from serious illness.
On sentencing, His Honour Judge Leonard QC said: “You ran a highly successful enterprise. you deprived many individual investors of substantial amounts of money; for some that was money they could not afford to give up.”
In May 2009, the FSA and CoLP carried out a series of raids on the homes of the suspects during which 48 digital items and 67,000 documents were seized revealing 16 different boiler rooms had sold shares to 1,700 investors between 2003 and 2008.
It showed that £27.5m was paid into five UK bank accounts with around £14m transferred out of the accounts to offshore banks in Malta, Lithuania and Spain.
The boiler rooms were mostly based in Spain but the back office, accounts and companies involved were from Malta, Italy, Slovakia, Lithuania, Austria, Andorra, Brazil, Belize, Dubai and a number of Caribbean islands.
FSA acting head of enforcement Tracey McDermott says: “The individuals convicted today sought to cloak their activities within an aura of respectability to deceive investors, many of whom were vulnerable or elderly. They are, however, nothing more than cold-hearted criminals who profited from stealing other people’s money.”