Boiler room fraudster jailed

Posted: 6th November 2011

An estate agent who acted as a ‘front man’ for a dubious investment company and persuaded wealthy people to buy into what appeared to be a respectable investment company in Switzerland, but which was in fact a ‘boiler room’ operation selling valueless ‘investments’, has been jailed at Exeter Crown Court.
The scam involved, as they almost always do, the promise of exceptional returns for little risk, and was supported by impressive-looking but fictitious marketing material.
Despite using an alias and taking elaborate procedures to avoid detection, the fraudster was caught when the use of his girlfriend’s mobile phone enabled her to be located.
He admitted defrauding investors of more than £160,000, but investigators believe that the true scale of the losses was far greater.
If you are offered returns on investments which are well above the market rate and which seemingly involve little risk, be very sceptical and do your homework thoroughly. In the UK, investment advisors are required by law to be regulated by the Financial Services Authority and redress may be available for bad advice or fraud.
Where the investment advisor is not based in the UK, there is likely to be little or no investor protection.