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FCA bans ex-adviser over £160k fraud to fund gambling and escort visits

The FCA has banned a former financial adviser after he was jailed for 18 months for defrauding clients out of £160,500 to fund a gambling habit and visits to escorts.

Michael Bains, who most recently worked for Bright Future IFA according to the FCA register, was banned this week from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity.

In August 2013 Bains was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment after being convicted by York Crown Court of six counts of fraud. The offences were committed between April 2009 and March 2012.

Bains persuaded clients to invest in private deals for non-existent property development and investment schemes and used the money to fund repayments to other investors as well as a £100,000 gambling debt and spending on escorts he had met via internet sites.

He was found to have visited escorts on at least 49 occasions, spending around £150 on each visit.

Bains’ victims lost between £15,000 and £100,000, including a 58-year-old woman who lost her life savings of £100,000.

Detective Sergeant Edwards of the North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit said at the time of sentencing: “Bains has declared himself bankrupt so there is little chance that the victims of the fraud will receive any compensation.”

Pilot Financial Planning director Ian Thomas says: “Unfortunately cases like this reflect badly on the whole industry. One would hope that with the increasing professionalism of the industry following the RDR cases like this become fewer and fewer.”


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