Three men have been sentenced to nine years for a boiler-room investment fraud, the Serious Fraud Office has said, including one man who stole the identity of a registered financial adviser to commit the crime.
The operation, based in Spain, targeted investors in the UK between 2009 and 2010 and took in over £1.3m.
During the course of the fraud one of the men, James Muir Baird, stole the identity of an FSA registered financial adviser and an FSA registered company and set up a bank account.
By posing as a financial adviser he was able to purchase the contact details of people who had made investment enquiries on an investment website. This gave the boiler room the cold call list it needed to deploy high-pressure sales techniques.
Baird (D.O.B. 09/06/81) and Paul O'Leary (D.O.B. 22/08/73) of Braintree, and Omar Shorif Choudhury (D.O.B. 02/08/79) from Great Yeldham were sentenced today at Chelmsford Crown Court after pleading guilty to running a boiler-room fraud.
The defendants used high-pressure telesales techniques to promote worthless share bonds in non-trading companies pretending they were promoting shares in Chinese commodities firms.
Money paid to the boiler-room operation was used to to support the lavish lifestyle of Baird and the boiler-room employees.
"Boiler rooms are a blight on the investment sector," said SFO director Richard Alderman. "They often create victims out of aspiring individuals and dash hopes of a secure retirement.
"I am pleased that the SFO has played its part in bringing the offenders to justice. I hope that confiscation will help to restore some of the damage so callously done."
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