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Conmen jailed after IFA&#39s detective work

An IFA has stopped a notorious gang of conmen preying on the disabled and elderly after spotting a series of suspect payments leaving his client&#39s bank account.

David Rackham, a Havant adviser with Berry Birch& Noble Financial Planning, became suspicious when he saw thousands of pounds disappearing from his client Patrick Pitt&#39s account.

Rackham, who has been Mr Pitt&#39s adviser for 10 years, tracked the payments to a bogus address in Guildford and immediately contacted the police.

Mr Pitt, who has brain damage following a car accident, was the victim of the Brazil Gang, a family of bogus builders, who conned him into paying £55,000 for roof repairs that cost £5.60.

Leslie, Albert and John Brazil were convicted at Portsmouth Crown Court of conspiring to obtain £55,000 from Patrick Pitt and were jailed for six years, three-and-a-half-years and three years respectively. Two other people involved in the deception, Rachel Mitchell and Kamala Frankham, received 18 months&#39 imprisonment and a 12-month suspended sentence respectively.

It is still not clear whether Rackham&#39s client will get any of his money back once the court has assessed the remaining assets of the Brazil family.

Rackham says: “Our clients are everything to us and it really goes against the grain when you find something like this – I would urge any IFAs to be really vigilant.”


Investment fund sales fall but remain up on 2003, says IMA

New retail sales of investment funds fell in January but were still double those at the same time last year, according to the IMA. Its monthly statistics show that sales slid from £844m in December 2003 to £505m last month although this was still far in excess of January 2003, when sales were just £249m. […]

Time is right for caution

“Great men wait for the right moment to abandon caution. The rest of us abandon it when impatience becomes too much for us.” – Cooley Mason, 1985. With growth on the FTSE 100 of over 17 per cent in 2003, it would be easy to throw caution to the wind and jump straight back on […]

Loan firm wants to strike up business referrals

Broker Hamptons International Mortgages is looking to find IFAs outside London who are interested in starting a business referral relationship. Hamptons&#39 agreement with London IFA Master Adviser means it passes regulated business to the firm while Master Adviser refers mortgage business to Hamptons. Outside London, Hamptons works with Bath IFA Caven-dish Grant and is interested […]

X-ray marks the Star spot

It&#39s the Pru, Jim, but not as we know it. Diary hears that a model of the Starship Enterprise caused Prudential&#39s IT division to run for cover a few weeks ago when it sparked off an over-sensitive X-ray machine. The Diary knows that unsolicited marketing material can get a bit annoying but calling in the […]


Lifetime Isa – how it works

According to George Osborne “people like Isas – because they’re simple”. Fiona Tait is not convinced… Contributions & bonuses What he said: “From April 2017, anyone under the age of 40 will be able to open a Lifetime Isa and save up to £4,000 each year. And for every £4 you save, the Government will […]


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