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Ex-adviser pleads guilty to 24 counts of fraud

A former adviser has pleaded guilty to 24 counts of fraud at Newcastle Crown Court.

Alok Dhanda entered the plea at a hearing on Friday and is due to be sentenced on 19 December.

He ran advice firm Dhanda Financial until August 2013 and held a variety of permissions through Tenet. He then worked at Truly Independent from September to November 2013.

At a hearing in April where Dhanda was charged with 13 counts of fraud, he was accused of organising a £600,000 fraud to fund his gambling habit.

The prosecution argued Dhanda convinced clients to invest in property in India but instead put the money toward paying off debts of over £1m.

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Comments

There are 18 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Amazingly, I actually have this guy’s mobile phone number, though I’ve not used it since this story broke and I shan’t share it.

  2. Apart from this, and the vast list of Money Marketing’s other headlines reporting the misdemeanours of financial advisers generally, perpetuating the perception that all financial advisers are crooks, everything in the financial world’s rosy. The advice-providing population’s down to 25,000, or 17,000, or 10,000 depending which article you read, of which 10% are St. James’s Place advisers (make of that what you will) which is decreasing competition, and seen as yet another negative in the press.

    Isn’t it about time something positive was reported? Tessa, why don’t you put out a report on the success of an adviser practice and dispel a few myths. Let the world know about the good work we do, how many people would be retiring now with no pension provision at all if it wasn’t for us (even the ‘tied’ HSBC advice I gave early in my career is better than no pension at all)? Report on the investments done 10 or 20 years ago which are worth 100% or 300% more now, despite ‘high’ charges along the way.

    Why don’t you report net returns instead of charges – this would encourage fund managers to get better or get out of the market, improving it for all. There seems to be a voice in the media (and the FCA!) which thinks cheap is best. What about value for money? I’d rather have a 1.75% OCF fund with net average annual growth of 7% than a 0.30% OCF ‘closet indexer’ fund returning 5%.

    Come on, Money Marketing, it’s time to report good things about this industry. Tell the world about the hundreds of advisers who have had a good career and have assisted millions of people to be successful, financially. They may not all have ended up with the very best fund or product, but will be a damn sight better off than those without!

    Rant over.

  3. Wasn’t he the guy who won some sort of award (Through New Model Adviser , I think) some time ago?

  4. Comment@Harry – Yes well spotted. If you use the search function on citywire it comes up with all the times they’ve written about him BEFORE this showed up, including…….

    Scooping the title of New Model Adviser of the Year 2006 for The North has propelled Alok Dhanda into the Newcastle media spotlight.

  5. @ Harry.
    Yes I believe he was one of the “stars” of the industry!!!!

  6. Julian, how do you even know it was his number in the first place?

    Harry, on LinkedIn it states that he was New Model Adviser for 2006 but then again he was a fraudster so how can we be sure! Oh well.

    Jonno, I agree with your sentiment but how do you change the culture of journalism? The 95/5 rule – 95% negative and 5% positive works so well. Even the Regulator works under the same methods. One of their (the FCA) responsibilities is raising the confidence of the consumer in the financial services sector. Its hard to see how naming and shaming helps with that especially as that is their main way of communicating with the consumer population. It would also be good if our trade bodies like the PFS, CII, APFA etc. would actually publish what good we actually do for so many people to counter the tirade of negative news we hear all the time.

    For example a press release from the 7th July stated ‘….. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) paid out £243m in compensation to consumers in 2013/14, according to its latest Annual Report and Accounts published today. It protected more than 34,000 people during the year.’ A great bit of spin really! Who paid the money – the members of the industry/profession who were not guilty of the very acts that resulted in the losses suffered by the victims. The industry appears to be the bad guys and the FSCS the knight in shining armour. Where is the positive stories about how all of us help to compensate the victims of miscreant advisers. Why isn’t this being shouted from the rooftops. They do the crime we pay the fine – what a system – and don’t start me on cross subsidies!!!!

  7. Mmmmm – One of the reasons I don’t bother with NMA or Citywire. The Hello magazine for Financial Services.

    It also rather highlights the facile and worthless nature of these award ceremonies. (Money Management excepted).

  8. This is great news for those of us who have been fleeced by so called independent financial advisers. I know that there are more con men ( and women) out there who don’t find it difficult to dodge the rules.

    Hopefully, Mr Plod will soon catch up with them.

  9. Very sorry to hear that Karen. How have you been fleeced?

  10. Very sorry to hear that Karen. How have you been fleeced?

  11. John Reilly ~ I know it’s his number because I spoke to him on it at least twice before his misdemeanours caught up with him. He was extolling the virtues of the Truly Independent network he’d joined after having left Tenet “by mutual consent”.

  12. E L Wisty (an only twin) 1st December 2014 at 5:09 pm

    @ Karen

    There is a big difference between fraud and a perception of being fleeced. Please clarify how you were fleeced and the justification for making your allegation “that there are more con men ( and women) out there who don’t find it difficult to dodge the rules.”

    Yes, there are still a (comparatively few) number of bad apples out there. But that doesn’t give you the right to make such derogatory comments without empirical evidence.

  13. Hi Julian – it was my poor attempt at sarcasm! I bet he didn’t see that coming – oh actually that was his problem wasn’t it. Gamble responsibly and preferably with your own money!

  14. @ E L Wisty

    I wouldnt waste your time with Karen White.

    From memory its a pseudonym of a troll who cant help but ranting about Financial Services.

    Also from memory he / she has been caught up in pretty much every financial scandal out there.

  15. Karen never replies so sadly one can only assume she has a grudge – end. Probably not genuine at all and some relationship issue instead as offers to help her cause have been made and not acknowledged.

  16. E L Wisty (an only twin) 2nd December 2014 at 11:22 am

    @ Gordon and Philip

    Thanks for your messages. I’ve had a look at her past posts, and agree with you. Hopefully, despite her issues, she will realise that not all advisers should be tarred with the same brush.

    By the way, I looked up ‘troll’ and came across the following definitions:

    troll – /tr??l,tr?l/

    noun: troll; plural noun: trolls

    1. (in folklore) an ugly cave-dwelling creature depicted as either a giant or a dwarf.

    2. a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

    I wonder which one Karen is?

  17. @Gordon, Philip and E L.

    I happened to catch “Karen’s” in that little section which highlights the last four comments made on all articles and the name attributed to the comment wasn’t Karen. It was John or something like that, what it most definitely was not was a female name.

    As suggested previously “Karen” pops up every so often to make a derogatory comment on an article such as this one. All attempts to find out why he/she is so aggrieved have fallen on deaf ears. All we can do is ignore them.

  18. E L Wisty (an only twin) 2nd December 2014 at 5:37 pm

    @Nick

    Thanks for the update on “Karen/John”

    All we do is wish him well with the gender reassignment surgery ……. Hopefully, she won’t be so grumpy in the future.

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