Convicted fraudster Manraj Virdee has been sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid community service work.
The sentencing at Southwark Crown Court followed Virdee's guilty pleas to four charges relating to misleading consumers, fraud and the illegal operation of an unauthorised investment scheme worth more than £500,000.
Virdee was the sole director of Dynamic UK Trades Ltd and, between October 2015 and November 2017, promoted a deposit-taking scheme without permission from the FCA. He largely targeted his wider family and associates, the regulator said. Virdee also entered into an agreement with an investor to manage some £192,500 in spread betting trading, the FCA said, but only £10,000 was used as he promised.
In total, Virdee received around £600,000 in funds from investors, some of whom he promised returns of up to 100% based on his supposed success as a currency trader, according to the FCA. In reality, it added, only £457,119 of those deposits were actually traded by Virdee and almost all of these funds were lost or used to fund his lifestyle.
The watchdog has obtained a financial restraint order against Virdee's remaining assets and has said it will pursue confiscation proceedings in relation to his remaining assets. The FCA added it hoped the confiscations would go "some way" to compensating Virdee's victims.
FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight Mark Steward said: "The FCA's prompt action nipped Mr Virdee's fraud in the bud and stopped it becoming inevitably bigger, causing greater loss to a wider group of victims. The FCA reminds investors to beware anyone who is not authorised to carry out the activities they are offering."
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