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Wealth management boss jailed for a decade over £14.5m Ponzi fraud handed FCA final notice

Jail bankerThe FCA has issued a final notice to Hertfordshire-based Freddy David who is serving four and six-year jail sentences concurrently for two counts of fraud and deception.

David was convicted last July of one count of obtaining a money transfer by deception and one count of fraud by abuse of position.

The court heard David carried out a Ponzi scheme between January 2005 and November 2017 while he was managing director of Hertfordshire firm HBFS Financial Services.

David ran a legitimate HBFS business parallel with his fraud, in which he convinced investors, some of which he knew personally as friends, that their funds were held in high-interest bank accounts offering between four and eight per cent annual interest.

An investigation later revealed the funds were being transferred into David’s account for personal use.

On handing down the notice, the FCA says: “On the basis of the conduct resulting in these convictions, Mr David is not a fit and proper person to perform any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by an authorised person, exempt person or exempt professional firm.

“His convictions demonstrate a clear and serious lack of honesty and integrity such as that he is not fit and proper to perform regulated activities.”

David poses a significant and ongoing risk to consumers and financial institutions, as well as confidence in the market generally, the regulator adds.

Investment fraud reports jump 74 per cent in a year

The FCA referred the case of the Ponzi scheme to the police last year after becoming suspicious of HBFS’ accounts.

Police staff investigation Katie Watkins said: “David was a well-respected member of his community who exploited this in his position as a managing director of a recommended financial advisory firm to gain trust from unsuspecting investors.

“This fraud has caused significant emotional distress and financial harm to the victims involved, many of whom invested their life savings in HBFS. Some victims are retired and are not in a position to recover the money lost.”

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  1. Regrettably, this is another example where funds can’t be returned to victims because £15.6m was spent on gambling websites.
    If the law was changed to claw back the majority of this money from the betting businesses, maybe they would make greater efforts to exercise controls on this grievous addiction risk which harms not just the addicted, but as here, many other innocent people.

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