A financial adviser has had a £50,000 FSA fine increased to £75,000 after the regulator discovered he had repeatedly lied during its investigations.
Simon Kuun, who ran Bromsgrove-based IFA MFP Group, was fined £50,000 by the FSA in 2008 after discovering he was using unapproved and unqualified staff to visit customers.
The case was then referred to the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal, who upheld the FSA's original findings, but increased the fine to £75,000 as Kuun also lied to the Tribunal when giving evidence.
Kuun first came to the FSA's attention during a supervisory visit to MFP in 2005. He told the FSA his business had stopped using unqualified staff to carry out regulated functions.
But the FSA says the opposite was true, claiming he had simply transferred their contracts to a company called Membership Services Limited (MSL), which was registered in the West Indies.
Kuun denied any involvement with the firm, maintaining that MSL was owned and run in Switzerland by an acquaintance called John Graham.
However, an investigation found that Kuun himself was the subscriber who paid for MSL's mailbox address in Switzerland, and that any post addressed to MSL was forwarded back to MFP's office in Bromsgrove.
The Tribunal agreed with the FSA that there was no credible evidence to suggest that John Graham actually existed, and that Kuun had invented him to mislead both the FSA and the Tribunal in their investigations using his own middle names.
The Tribunal found that Kuun had demonstrated a lack of honesty and integrity contrary to Principle 1 of the Statement of Principles for Approved Persons, and had also failed to be open, candid and truthful with the FSA contrary to statements in Principle 4.
It was also found that he is not a fit and proper person to perform any function in relation to any regulated activity.
As Kuun was the sole shareholder of MFP and is therefore MFP's sole controller for the purposes of the FSA's rules, the business will cease to operate.
Margaret Cole, FSA director of enforcement and financial crime division, says: "We could not allow this dishonesty by Kuun to go unpunished. It was a premeditated and sustained attempt to deceive the FSA and prevent effective regulation."
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