A fraudster described as the “controlling mind” of a series of boiler room scams that lost investors more than £2.8m was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment on Friday.
Michael Nascimento was called the “instigator and the main beneficiary” of the fraud.
His sentencing follows the sentencing of five other people involved in the same fraud earlier this month.
FCA enforcement and market oversight executive director Mark Steward says: “This brings to an end the FCA’s largest fraud prosecution which has seen the perpetrators imprisoned for a total of 28.5 years, affording justice to victims who were the subject of their calculated deception. We are continuing to fight for compensation for victims out of their assets.”
The scammers cold-called people and used high-pressure sales tactic to persuade them to buy shares in a company that owned land on the island of Madeira. Investors were promised guaranteed returns of between 125 per cent and 228 per cent but none were ever paid.
According to an FCA statement, investors’ money was used to keep the fraud going and to fund Nascimento’s lifestyle.
More than 170 people invested; many were elderly, vulnerable and, in some cases, lost all their life savings.
Nascimento also received an additional sentence of two years for further criminality in respect of a separate prosecution by the Crown Prosecution Service and the City of London Police. This makes his total sentence 13 years.