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Two advisers plead guilty to £17m fraud

Two Norfolk-based financial advisers have plead guilty to using a high-risk investment scheme to defraud more than 200 investors out of pension savings worth £17m.

The two brothers, Alan and Russell Taylor, ran both financial advice firm Taylor and Taylor Associates and were directors and shareholders of investment manager Vantage Investment Group.

The pair were accused of placing around £17m from their advice business into a Vantage run fund without informing customers that it was a high-risk venture or that they were also involved in that company.

A police investigation was launched in 2015 after clients contacted Action Fraud regarding their losses.

At Norwich Crown Court yesterday, prosecutors said that the pair had produced fraudulent client records, convincing vulnerable and elderly clients to hand over access to their pensions, the North Norfolk News reports.

Their scam bet client money “on the spin of a roulette wheel” to “line their own pockets”, the paper reports prosecutors saying, as the Taylors both admitted one count of conspiracy to defraud.

Police say that the client money went to fund lavish expenses like a private boat and expensive cars.

Originally, the pair were charged with seven fraud related offenses each in 2016.

The FCA closed Vantage after deciding it did not have the required permissions to operate an alternative investment fund.

Taylor and Taylor shut in 2015, which the firm put partly down to increasing regulatory costs.

Regulatory costs force Norfolk advice firm to close

Money Marketing previously revealed that, as of January last year, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme had already paid out more than £3m in compensation claims against the firm.

119 successful claims had been lodged, with claimants entitled to an average of £28,500. Prosecutors said at court that clients typically lost nearly half of their total pensions with the Taylors.

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Comments

There are 11 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Is it me or am I missing something here ?

    Here we have a small firm and two advisers putting huge amounts of money through “one” fund (which they are linked to) from hundreds of clients, and what it seems over a short amount of time……. Oh alarm bells ringing !!!

    Gabriel (AKA) RMAR ?

    What the dickens do the FCA do with all this information we provide ?

    And the icing on the cake, the FCA closed Vantage because the firm didn’t have the permissions to run said fund.

    My oh my FCA, is it that you don’t know what you look like till you see yourself in the mirror, because you get dressed in the bloody dark ?

    • @D H

      You clearly dont have to complete RMAR returns otherwise you would know that the information submitted has nowhere near this level of detail.

      And before you suggest it should, the RMAR is long enough without adding to the workload.

      • Well spotted Justin Side ……

        Just demonstrates what a useless waste of time and effort the RMAR is……..

        It offers no real benefit for the industry, the consumer or indeed the FCA … it serves only as a means of assessment as to what levies and fees they can take from us and our clients

        BTW yes I do complete this mind numbing twaddle
        ..twice a year

        Can you put a little post it in the suggestion box ..let’s put more time, effort, and resource into tackling the issues above and less time sifting through mindless garbage so you can justify your budget….

        • Well, as an investment management firm Vantage wouldn’t complete RMARs because it’s subject to an entirely different financial and reporting regime…

          • Indeed Adam ……so my question is

            Does this make the whole sorry story better or worse ?

            As it seems the reporting system they have, like the RMAR is not fit for purpose……

            Reems and reems of useless data …

  2. John Hutton-Attenborough 7th March 2018 at 12:25 pm

    How do these people sleep at night?

  3. Julian Stevens 7th March 2018 at 4:36 pm

    I imagine the investors who lost money feel massively let down by the failure of the regulator to do its job properly. Perhaps a representative should be called before the TSC to explain.

  4. well done lads horse has bolted before fca caught up with you hope you spent my money on fine wines and top class hookers

  5. RMAR a kid could fill it in no meaningful information other than they can see from our turnover how much to charge us in fees

  6. The headline should read ‘Two fraudsters who were masquerading as financial advisers plead guilty to £17m fraud’.

  7. Active intelligence work by the FCA could have discovered this. Vantage Investment Group Ltd are on the FCA register and the Taylor brothers were the people running it, connecting dots between individuals and firms is not difficult and a follow up call or brief visit might well have alerted the FCA.

    To run salt in advisers wounds, as of today, Vantage’s current status is still showing as authorised on the register and the Taylor brothers are still showing as active individuals running it.

    Surely there should be extra information given this article? There is, but it’s hidden and you have to know where to look. Even if a member of the public found it, I’m not sure they would understand it or the implications when the firm is still showing as authorised…

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