The unauthorised financial adviser was sentenced to four years imprisonment today for fraudulently carrying on regulated activities, bringing to a close charges laid by the FCA in May.
Ian James Hudson was food guilty of fraudulent trading by Judge Tomlinson at Southwark Crown Court.
The length of his sentence is made up of one count of fraudulent trading with two additional terms of 14 months.
The result followed charges laid by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in which the watchdog accused Hudson of carrying on a business, Richmond Associates, with the intention to defraud creditors and carrying on regulated activities – namely advising on investments and accepting deposits without authorisation.
Hudson advised on regulated mortgages, pensions and other investments and purported to invest significant deposits received by him from clients on their behalf for over ten years between 2008 and 2019.
“At no point during this time was he authorised by the FCA to undertake these, or any, financial services, as is required by law,” said Mark Steward, an FCA executive.
Hudson’s clients were told that the money they deposited – amounting to around £2m – with his business, Richmond Associates, would be invested in different financial vehicles or otherwise put to specific uses – but this was not always the case.
The deposits were used instead to re-pay existing clients, to pay other individuals, or for Hudson’s personal use.
“Mr Hudson’s defrauding,” he continued, “was calculated and persistent over a number of years, preying on victims who believed he was a financial adviser and trusted friend when he was neither of these things.”
Steward took the announcement of the case to remind investors to check the FCA register of authorised persons to ensure any financial adviser is authorised to provide financial advice by the FCA.
Confiscation proceedings are being pursued by the FCA.
Any money recovered from Hudson will be used to compensate victims, said the FCA.