Topic: FCA prohibits IFA and mortgage adviser for fitness and propriety failings
Subject of Enforcement: Mr Anthony George
Date of Notice: 24th September 2021
Overview: The FCA has prohibited financial advisor Anthony George from performing any regulated activity in the financial services industry on the grounds that he is not a fit and proper per-son as his conduct demonstrates a lack of honesty and integrity. Mr George is the director, owner and sole approved person of 4Life Financial Planning Limited (4Life), a financial advisor and mortgage intermediary based in London.
The FCA found that between 14 January 2015 and 15 May 2019 (the Relevant Period), Mr George deliberately submitted false information to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by understating the income in his self-assessment tax returns over a 5-year period. Mr George further demonstrated a lack of honesty and integrity when he concealed this from the FCA, providing them with information which he knew to be false during a compelled interview.
During the Relevant Period, Mr George did not inform the accountancy firms which pre-pared and submitted his tax returns that he had additional income other than that received from 4Life, namely his takings from two cash-in-hand businesses – a hair salon and a DJ business – as well as rental income which he received from letting out a room in his house. Mr George also appointed a separate accountancy firm to prepare an alternative version of his tax returns which included all of his sources of income for the tax years 2013/2014 to 2015/2016.
Mr George submitted the lower income tax returns to HMRC (paying lower income tax accordingly and used the higher income tax returns as the basis of a personal mortgage ap-plication. Mr George’s total income as stated in his mortgage application was some £367,757 greater than the income he had declared to HMRC over the same 3-year period. Mr George also used the income figures from the lower income tax returns to claim working tax credits.
Penalty: FCA License ceased, prohibited from conducting regulated activity.
Topic: Richard Faithfull sentenced to over 5 years imprisonment for money laundering
Subject of Enforcement: Mr Richard Faithfull
Date of Notice: 9th September 2021.
Overview: On Thursday 9 September 2021 Richard Faithfull was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months imprisonment for laundering money, contrary to s.327 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. He was also disqualified from being a company director for a period of 10 years. Richard Faithfull laundered £2.5million as part of a trans-national organised crime group for longer than 12 months, laundering the proceeds of, at least, 7 professionally run overseas investment frauds.
The operation was sophisticated, utilising multiple accounts and front companies in numerous jurisdictions. Faithfull was able to use knowledge gained when he worked in the regulated sector – as an investment advisor – to help the fraudsters continue to defraud victims by paying fictional ‘dividends’ from bank accounts controlled by him to make it look as though the underlying investments were generating returns. He also involved innocent parties to help assist with his criminal enterprise.
To avoid detection he relocated to Ukraine where he lived a life of luxury whilst he continued his criminal activities, enlisting the assistance of local criminal groups abroad. Following his arrest, he spun a web of lies to try and throw the FCA off the case but at the hearing held last week he finally accepted that he was a ‘thoroughly dishonest person
The FCA will now pursue confiscation proceedings against him in order to try and seize his illegal gains.
Penalty: 5 years and 10 months imprisonment