On September 9, 2021, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority announced that former stockbroker and investment advisor Richard Faithfull, who pleaded guilty to money laundering on April 16, 2021, was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison contrary to s.327 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The sentence came at the end of a 4-day Newton hearing that was held to determine whether the court should accept a basis of plea offered by Faithfull’s defense team, that sought to minimize his role in the scheme and reduce his sentence. The Westminster Magistrate court decided instead to accept the FCA’s position that Faithfull engaged in a sophisticated criminal undertaking, that the presiding judge considered to be a “serious offending.”
Faithfull was accused by the FCA of participating in a trans-national organized crime group from June 1, 2017 to August 1, 2018 and laundering £2.5 million in proceeds from at least seven professionally funded investment frauds. Faithfull’s role in the scheme was to assist a team of fraudsters, using knowledge he obtained as an investment advisor, by paying fictional “dividends” to defrauded victims from bank accounts that he controlled in order to give the impression that their investments were generating returns. He eventually moved to Ukraine to avoid detection, where he was able to continue his criminal operation with the assistance of local criminal groups abroad.
Now that Faithfull has been sentenced, the FCA plans to pursue confiscation proceedings against him in an attempt to seize his illegal gains.