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IFA unauthorised investment advice trial begins

The FCA has begun its prosecution against a banned IFA and his business partner for giving investment advice without being authorised by the regulator.

West Midlands-based adviser Gary Hexley is charged with six offences relating to giving unauthorised investment advice, including five counts of dishonestly concealing a material fact. If he is found guilty on all counts he faces a prison sentence of up to seven years.

Hexley’s business partner John Cooper has also been charged with three counts of dishonestly concealing a material fact. The charges against Hexley and Cooper relate to concealing their lack of authorisation and the suitability of products they recommended to former elderly and vulnerable clients.

The trial is being held at Birmingham Crown Court and is expected to last five weeks. Proceedings began on 16 September.

The FSA banned and publicly censured Hexley in July 2011 for giving unsuitable investment advice. The ban related to investments set up through Hexley’s property development company, Greenfield International, in 2003, and investment advice he gave at Exclusive Asset Management between January 2009 and May 2010.

Both firms have since been put into liquidation.

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