A Merseyside-based financial adviser who cheated clients, including professional rugby players, out of more than £200,000 has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Nicholas Fowler, from Daresbury, admitted deception charges at Liverpool Crown Court. The court heard Fowler had been an IFA for eight years from 1992 to 2000 and during that period he cheated a number of pensioners and other clients out of their savings.
Evidence was given that Fowler had told the pensioners he would invest their savings in secure bonds when in fact he invested in risky shares.
His rugby league clients lost out when Fowler put their money into start-up shares and misappropriated sums for himself. It was said in mitigation that Fowler had taken a chance and had been caught out by stockmarket volatility.
Judge Mark Brown said: “You abused the position of trust you had with these clients and gambled with their money.
“You represented to them that you were investing their money in bonds when, in fact, you were putting the money into very risky share dealings I am prepared to accept that, at that particular stage, you did not set out to steal from them but nonetheless your activities were dishonest.”