A former financial adviser and his business partner have today been sentenced to a total of two years and nine months for giving unauthorised advice.
Gary Hexley and John Cooper - who have been described as "a pair of crooks" by the FCA's director of enforcement and financial crime - were found guilty on six counts and two counts respectively under the Financial Services and Markets Act last month.
Hexley was sentenced to two years at Birmingham Crown Court earlier today while Cooper received nine months. Both were former directors of the West Midlands based financial services firm Weston Financial Services.
The pair were held responsible for giving financial advice to elderly investors without holding relevant permissions over a period of 18 months, and for failing to inform those investors both that they were not authorised to give the advice and that their firm had gone bankrupt in 2010.
The court previously heard that Hexley had netted more than £74,000 in commission and Cooper more than £6,000 in the 18 month period when they were not authorised to give financial advice.
Cooper was found guilty of advising a client to invest £160,000 in a start-up fund in Mauritius since his permissions had been taken away by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in June 2011.
Hexley concealed from his clients that funds were destined for the Metatron Global Fund, which was a start-up fund based in Mauritius with no track record and a high risk investment, according to the FCA.
Hexley was banned and censured by the FSA in June 2011. He continued to provide investment advice, and concealed his lack of authorisation, bankruptcy and prohibition from his clients.
Both defendants were arrested in November 2011 by the FSA, supported by West Midlands Police.
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