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Rogue adviser swindled clients

A Midlands financial adviser tricked clients out of more than £600,000.

Martin Pearson, 47, of Sandy Lane, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, whose brother is Dudley South Labour MP Ian Pearson, admitted theft and forgery charges when he appeared before Wolverhampton Crown Court.

The court heard Pearson, who was a Sesame appoin- ted representative, targeted the elderly and the vulner- able, telling them that he would invest their savings but instead spent the money on himself.

Evidence was given that he had tricked one elderly widow out of more than £200,000.

Specialist nurse Lina Raybould, 42, then told the court that Pearson had approached her to invest an insurance payout she had received after the death of her husband in a car accident. It was only when she became ill that she demanded to see her policy documents. When they were not forthcoming, a police investigation was begun and the scam was revealed.

She told the court: “He provided me with a whole string of fraudulent letters to say my money had been invested but when I contac- ted the firms involved, they reported they had never heard of me. I looked him up on records and he was registered as a financial adviser. I thought I could trust him but he has betrayed that trust. He turned out to be a real rogue.”

When questioned by police, Pearson said he had gambled all the money away, but an investigation showed no history of gambling addiction. A hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover the money is now set to get under way.

Pearson will be sentenced in November.

In a statement, Ian Pearson, MP, said: “I have no connection whatsoever with my brother’s professional life and it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.”

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