A criminal investigation brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has seen five individuals sentenced to a total of almost 18 years in prison for their part in a £2.8m share fraud targeting "investors who were often elderly and vulnerable".
Charanjit Sandhu - sentenced to five-and-a-half years' imprisonment
The FCA saud Sandhu was a senior broker, who often used bullying sales tactics and false names. The jJudge commented he was "dazzled by the rewards of crime" and had "lost his moral compass". In regard to two investors, he said Sandhu "had pestered them mercilessly by telephone" and that his conduct was "cruel and callous" and "chilling".
Hugh Edwards - sentenced to three years and nine months' imprisonment
According to the FCA, Edwards recruited and trained brokers; drafted and sent misleading brochures to potential investors; and personally pitched the product as a senior broker using false names.
Stuart Rea - sentenced to three years and nine months' imprisonment
Rea fronted one of the companies, recruited and managed the sales brokers, and circulated the misleading promotional material, according to the FCA.
Jeannine Lewis - sentenced to two-and-a-half years' imprisonment
As PA to Nascimento, the FCA said, Lewis helped him to launder the proceeds of the fraud through various bank accounts including her own. She hid and destroyed documents and computers to prevent them falling into the hands of FCA investigators. The judge described Lewis as "Michael Nascimento's devoted personal assistant" and that she was "in truth a thoroughly dishonest woman".
Ryan Parker - sentenced to two years' imprisonment to be suspended for 18 months
Parker was also ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work. According to the FCA, he fronted two of the boiler rooms for Nascimento and his personal bank accounts were used as a conduit for some of the money. His sentence was suspended by the judge due to his age and personal mitigation and lower level of involvement. The judge said Parker had "been exploited in a significant way by Michael Nascimento".
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