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FCA freezes assets in suspected boiler room fraud

The FCA has imposed an asset freeze order on a suspected boiler room fraud after a High Court judge agreed it posed a serious risk to consumers.

In a High Court hearing last week, an unlimited worldwide asset freezing order was placed upon First Capital Wealth. The court order also stops the firm selling regulated investments.

The FCA says it suspects First Capital Wealth was arranging and promoting the sale of investments in Berkeley Brookes, a holding company for overseas assets, without FCA authorisation.

The regulator believes at least 20 investors invested more than £650,000 in Berkeley Brookes between July and November 2013.

FCA director of enforcement and financial crime Tracey McDermott says: “We have a statutory objective to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers and to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system.

“Stopping boiler rooms and other investment frauds, who rip-off consumers and tarnish the reputation of honest, hardworking, investment firms, is therefore an important part of the work we do.”

The FCA says it will be sending a letter of First Capital Wealth’s customers to keep them informed of developments. 

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