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Duo jailed for £20m SIPP switch fraud

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Two males who masqueraded as advisers to defraud pension savers of £20m have been jailed.

Rikki Nicholls, 57, and Mark Kelly, 51, persuaded tons of of pension savers to switch their pensions into SIPPs after which used the cash for their very own monetary acquire.

Mr Nicholls and Mr Kelly extracted in extra of £1m every in unauthorised fee funds, in addition to directing the transfers into unsuitable excessive threat offshore investments which supplied excessive fee funds.

Each males had been convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud and transferring legal property after a five-month trial at Southwark Crown Courtroom got here to an in depth on Friday.

Mr Nicholls of Bromsgrove and Mr Kelly of Cheshire had been each sentenced to 6 years in jail.

The pair arrange the scheme beneath PCD Wealth & Pension Administration in 2007.

PCD was not regulated to conduct pension enterprise within the UK and had no authorized standing.

The Metropolitan Police’s financial crime staff started investigating the pair after a tip off from the monetary regulators in 2011.

Mr Nicholls, a former worker of Equitable Life, obtained the main points of present prospects who the pair then chilly referred to as and satisfied to switch their pensions right into a SIPP managed by their scheme.

The pair then directed the transfers to funding funds which had been profitable attributable to excessive fee funds.

Various the investments have subsequently collapsed, leading to some pension holders dropping substantial quantities of their financial savings.

They predominantly used unqualified and unauthorised folks to fulfill with the victims and full the required paperwork.

Sections had been left clean for Mr Kelly and Mr Nicholls so as to add in charges which had not been agreed. The pair extracted round 10% of the gross sum invested in unauthorised fee funds.

Additionally they modified the correspondence handle of the purchasers to a PO Field which they managed, permitting them to have full management of the movement of knowledge to the consumer.

Between August 2008 and Might 2010, they positioned over 250 prospects’ pensions into SIPPs which had been administer by Hornbuckle Mitchell. Victims misplaced between £10,000 and £200,000.

The pair had been each arrested for fraud in 2014. The Crown Prosecution Service reviewed the case in 2016 however the case was delayed as a result of quantity of fabric to be reviewed and excellent worldwide enquiries.

They had been charged with conspiracy to defraud and cash launder in July 2020, with the case going to trial at Southwark Crown Courtroom on 8 November 2021.

Denis Mountford, from Birmingham, who was defrauded by the boys, mentioned: “After I first found that my pension fund was quickly diminishing and inaccessible, I used to be very cross with myself for trusting poor monetary advisers who had taken a excessive share fee and in addition I used to be disgusted with them.

“I do not know the way one can inform if a monetary adviser is completely reliable, besides by suggestions from folks you’ll be able to belief and I hope that this case shall be a warning to others.”

Jane Mitchell, specialist prosecutor on the Crown Prosecution Service, mentioned: “The hurt brought on by these fraudsters is immense, involving raids on the victims’ pension pots which wrecked their future livelihood and post-retirement plans. Many victims had been left with no pensions and should work effectively past their retirement date to supply for themselves and their households.

“Mark Kelly and Rikki Nicholls cynically misled pension-holders, telling them they’d have secure management over their pension funds however truly transferred the funds into excessive threat investments, with out the pension holders consent or information. The fraudsters did so for their very own private acquire, realizing the high-risk investments generated excessive commissions for them however had no concern for his or her victims who had been dropping cash they’d labored all their lives for.”




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