A former St James’s Place adviser has been jailed after defrauding clients of more than £840,000 over three years.
Mark Pickering was discovered to have used client money to place bets at Betfair, which the gambling business discovered after checking its records.
Pickering ran up a total of £1.1m gambling losses.
Judge James Sampson, of the Nottingham Crown Court, sent Pickering to prison for 40 months.
Pickering admitted to eight counts of fraud between 2013 and 2016.
The Nottingham Post reports Sampson saying: “Not only did they trust you, they probably trusted the company name. You were a financial adviser from a highly reputable company.”
He said: “You in effect stole from them just shy of £1m. These were significant sums of money, hard-earned money and no doubt when this came to light, the worry was great and the distress was great. The victims felt violated by you who had been in their homes to win and curry their trust and their custom.”
Pickering was an appointed representative at the Nottingham branch of SJP. The firm has reimbursed all of the victims and is reportedly claiming against Pickering through the civil courts to reclaim that money and £100,000 of costs.