Simon Kuun ran MFP Group Plc, a financial planning firm in Bromsgrove, but an FSA investigation in 2008 found that he lacked the honesty and integrity expected of an approved person and he was fined £50,000.
The fine has now been increased to £75,000 as Kuun lied to the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal when giving evidence.
Kuun first came to the FSA’s attention during a supervisory visit to MFP in 2005. He told the FSA that his business had stopped using unapproved and unqualified staff to visit customers.
This was found to be untrue, and the FSA discovered that Kuun had simply transferred their contracts to a company called Membership Services Limited, which was registered in the West Indies.
Kuun denied any involvement with the firm, maintaining that MSL was owned and run in Switzerland by an acquaintance called John Graham.
However, an investigation found that Kuun himself was the subscriber who paid for MSL’s mailbox address in Switzerland, and that any post addressed to MSL was forwarded back to MFP’s office in Bromsgrove.
The Tribunal agreed with the FSA that there was no credible evidence to suggest that John Graham actually existed, and that Kuun had invented him to mislead both the FSA and the Tribunal in their investigations using his own middle names.
The Tribunal found that Kuun had demonstrated a lack of honesty and integrity and had also failed to be open, candid and truthful with the FSA.
It was also found that he is not a fit and proper person to perform any function in relation to any regulated activity.
As Kuun was the sole shareholder of MFP and is therefore MFP’s sole controller for the purposes of the FSA’s rules, the business will cease to operate.
FSA director of enforcement and financial crime division Margaret Cole says: “We could not allow this dishonesty by Kuun to go unpunished. It was a premeditated and sustained attempt to deceive the FSA and prevent effective regulation.”
She adds: “This and other recently published cases, such as Pak Property Centre and Aston Sterling Insurance Services Limited, show our determination to exclude dishonest people from the industry, including those who believe it is acceptable to lie to regulatory authorities in order to conceal their criminality and other wrong doing.”