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Banned accountant jailed in £300k fraud

A disqualified Bristol accountant who advised on tax rebates and investments has been jailed for five years for defrauding clients out of more than £300,000.

Michael Wike, 55, admitted a series of theft and fraud charges when he appeared before Bristol Crown Court.

The court heard that Wike continued to advise clients on a personal basis even after he was disqualified and banned from being a company director.

When he got into debt through another failed business venture, he began to keep money that was given to him to invest.

He also kept £55,000 in tax rebates received for clients. Among those who he defrauded were friends and family.

Prosecutor James Patrick said that one couple had consid- ered ending their lives after they lost their pension and were forced back to work due to Wike’s actions.

In mitigation, it was said that Wike had not spent the money on high living but on trying to save his business.

But passing sentence, Judge Michael Longman said: “I have no doubt that the number of your victims well exceeds the number of charges to which you have admitted. You have embarked on a determined course of premeditated fraud and dishonesty. You offered your services to hard working people of mostly modest means. Their losses were ones that they could ill afford.”

Wike had previously been jailed for a year after he defrau- ded a Bristol couple out of £6,000, claiming he would use it to pay off their business debts.

A spokesman for Bristol police said after the case it was unlik- ely that any of the money would be recovered.

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Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. A “disqualified” accountant?

    This infers that he was previously “qualified” in the way you would expect most “professionals” to be?

    According to various parties the thrust of the RDR is to “raise standards”, but how do you stop fraud?

  2. To anon. That’s exactly what I thought, but please have the courage to put your name to what is after all not a very contensious comment!
    My response to the actual article would be instead of spending so much persecuting the honest advsier working towards their diploma (slowly) and trying to strike a fair balance of righst and responsibilities with their clients while making sure they ARE TCF and have a clear charging structure unifluenced by provider attempts to buy distribution (commission) the FSA spent 1/10th of that amount educating the public that the starting point for someone to check if the person in front of them is legit is to go to the FSA register http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register/home.do they coulkd hold their head up proudly. As it is this man appears to have been able to defraud LOTS of people out of what to them is a lot of money. The same could be said for some of the firms the FSA actually regulates who now appear to have presented a significant risk to the consumer as their governess or that of the people they trusted to do the work (keydata with SLS comes to mind) were failing in a duty of care to the consuemr somewhere in the food chain yet to be established.
    The FSA register could be so much a better tool than it actually is as could the FSA tables on moneymade clear.

  3. In laymens terms, I think this person is a real threat to the public in general. From my own personal knowledge, as I speak (type), Mr Wike is preparing to leave his cushy open jail (HMP Ley Hill), later this year, and has NO restrictions on what he is STILL endeavouring to do – namely continue his ‘vocation’ by resuming his past ‘career’ in the field of Financial Advisor. Even the mighty Probation Service (NOMS), are reluctant to closely monitor, or indeed ‘enforce’ the status quo of dis-allowing him (Wike) from persuing his ‘trade’; preferring to concentrate on other crimes of ‘public interest’, such as violence, illegal drug trading (dealing), burglaries, street-crime and robbery. They seem to think that ‘white collar crime’ is less destructive or traumatising to the community at large. The mind boggles…..

  4. Shawn, sadly you are absolutely correct in your forecast. Mr Wike is practicing as an ‘advisor’ in the town I live in. There is no law to stop an accountant from operating even after being convicted for relevant crimes. I became suspicious after he tried to hold onto my tax rebate. Finding out his real name, Wike, not White (the name he is using here in Watchet) I demanded the money was paid immediately into my account. I then discovered that he had not submitted any forms for the C.G.T. work that I had paid his ‘accountancy’ over £4,000 to deal with. This has all been reported to the police, I.R. and action fraud. I have been told by all three that nothing can be done. The alleged tax rebates he is getting for people is keeping him in good favour. A lot of people will end up in a lot of trouble. As you said, the mind boggles..

  5. I have heard of his antics Jill. Any idea where he is practicing?

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