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Algorithm adviser is jailed for four years

A self-employed financial adv-iser has been jailed for four years at Glasgow High Court.

Raymond Coia, 42, was appearing for sentencing on charges of breaching the Finan-cial Services Act.

During the long-running trial, charges against him alleging that he had defrauded over 300 investors out of more than 13m, that he had undertaken unauthorised investment business and that he had published private newsletters giving a false impression of the business were dropped but Coia did admit charges of unauthorised investment business and publishing false information.

At the trial, it was revealed that almost all the monies had been lost, that Coia’s comp-anies had run at a loss but he had lived a millionaire lifestyle.

Evidence was given that Coia had impressed investors by telling them that he had inven-ted an algorithm that would predict movements in foreign exchange markets.

As he sentenced Coia, trial judge Lord Brailsford said that, in addition to well-off people, “ordinary people of modest means” had also lost their savings. He said: “The purpose of the Financial Services Act isto regulate the market in fin-ancial services, probably thesingle most important industry in the UK today.

“The protection and integ-rity of financial markets is of vital importance to British soc-iety and the law and courts must do all in their power to protect these markets.

“Much was said during the trial about his Ferrari and Lamborghini. He is now running about in a M-registered Cavalier which cost 100. How are the mighty fallen.”

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