View more on these topics

Investment fraudster jailed for 5 years after forging documents

Jail bankerAn investor who falsely claimed to be FCA authorised has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for defrauding savers out of £3m.

The FCA commenced criminal prosecution against Surrey man Mark Starling in August for alleged offences carried out between between 2008 and 2017.

It was alleged he had operated a collective investment scheme without authorisation or exemption.

Southwark Crown Court has found today that Starling purported to run three investment funds, describing himself as a “proprietary futures trader.”

Starling forged documents, falsely claimed representation from various brokerages in correspondence, falsified bank statements, and set up multiple web domain names and email addresses in names similar to legitimate brokerages, the court has found.

Just under £3m in funds from some 24 friends and acquaintances were collected by Starling over the course of nearly a decade.

FCA’s criminal investigations increase sevenfold in three years

The court heard Starling only actually invested £8,000, which resulted in losses of £2,450, and spent £1m maintaining his own lifestyle in the same nine-year time period.

The FCA says: “Starling would sometimes pay money back to his investors on request to sustain the illusion of running a successful investment business. However, the reality was that these payments were just funded from other victims’ investment monies.”

At today’s sentencing, the judge said forgeries of identifications and documents were “sophisticated” and criticised Starling for abusing his position of trust.

The estimate of total funds lost for 17 of the investors totals £1.8m.

FCA cleared of failure to investigate ‘fraudulent’ bond provider

The regulator says funds recouped last year will be used to provide limited compensation to Starling’s victims.

FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight Mark Steward says: “His sophisticated and dishonest masquerade has caused substantial losses to innocent investors.

“The FCA is committed to ensuring that criminals who operate unauthorised investment schemes are brought to justice.”

Recommended

4

Carl Wallis: Why advisers should be thankful for the FCA

Troubles in Australia just go to show how far the relationship has come between UK firms and their regulator It is always interesting to compare our experience in the UK financial services market with those overseas, which is why I have been following developments in Australia’s Financial Services Royal Commission with interest. The commission, the […]

6

Nick Bamford: Problems with paraplanner recruitment

Recruitment is one of the most challenging jobs for a business owner. Get it right and the business is enhanced. Get it wrong and it costs. Like many other firms, we are currently in the process of recruiting an additional paraplanner. This is an area where demand seems to be exceeding supply. We struggle a […]

SJP chairman takes non-exec role at building society

St James’s Place chairman Iain Cornish has taken up a role as a non-executive director at Leeds Building Society. A stock exchange notice shows that Cornish was appointed to the position on Friday. Last month, SJP announced that current chair Sarah Bates would be stepping down with Cornish, who chaired the firm’s risk committee, taking […]

7

John Lawson: We cannot keep failing on financial literacy

I recently had a very enjoyable night out with a group of advisers. We could not help talking shop and shared some horror stories of poor financial decisions we had heard people making. These included taking the tax-free lump sum out of a pension to put into a bank account, taking money out to repay […]

Industry under fire over pension freedoms

By Jamie Clark, Business Development Manager, Royal London Recent articles in the media have raised concerns about the new pension freedoms. One perceived problem is that across the industry, trustees and providers are not necessarily allowing people to take full advantage of the pension freedoms in situ. This is backed up by a recent survey by […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. How did he cover that up for 9 years?

Leave a comment

Close

Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com