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Man behind failed £8.5m spread betting scheme gets ban

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The boss of a failed £8.5m spread betting scheme has been banned from managing any limited company for 12 years.

Stuart Mudge “guaranteed” investors 15 per cent quarterly returns as he accumulated £8.5m for spread bets through his Churchgate Trading Syndicate between June 2009 and February 2012.

Mudge admitted he had broken the law by operating the scheme without FCA permission in 2013, and a High Court ordered to him pay back over £7m to investors, to be distributed through the FCA.

He could not pay this money, however, and was declared bankrupt.

After further investigation by the Insolvency Service, Cardiff County Court has now handed down a 12 year ban on Mudge that he “cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until February 2029”.

FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight Mark Steward says: “Investors are often lured by false promises of high returns without the high risks being disclosed to them.  Spread betting on securities or currencies is typically risky and investors in Mr Mudge’s scheme ended up losing substantial amounts of money.

“We urge investors to be vigilant and wary of anyone promising high or guaranteed returns – these are often the hallmarks of a scam, even if the trader is someone you know.  And check with the FCA Register to ensure the person is authorised to be advising or trading on behalf of customers.”

In December, the FCA said it was looking to impose stricter rules for firms selling risky spread bets and rolling spot foreign exchange products.

‘Advisory’ firms in the contracts for difference space were causing concerns at the regulator over unsuitable advice being given and high commissions.

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