In a case brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Manraj Virdee was yesterday sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to a 2 year prison sentence suspended for 2 years and he was further ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work in the community. The sentence followed earlier guilty pleas to 4 charges relating to misleading consumers, fraud and the illegal operation of an unauthorised investment scheme worth over half a million pounds.
Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, commented:
‘The FCA’s prompt action nipped Mr Virdee’s fraud in the bud and stopped it becoming inevitably bigger, causing greater loss to a wider group of victims. The FCA reminds investors to beware of anyone who is not authorised to carry out the activities they are offering.’
Mr Virdee was the sole director of Dynamic UK Trades Ltd and between October 2015 and November 2017 he promoted a deposit taking scheme without authorisation from the FCA mainly targeting wider family and associates. He also entered into an agreement with one investor to manage £192,500 in spread betting trading in which only £10,000 was used as promised. Mr Virdee received a total of approximately £600,000 in funds from investors some of whom were ‘guaranteed’ returns of up to 100% based on his claimed success as a currency trader. In reality, only £457,119 of those deposits were actually traded by Mr Virdee and almost all of these funds were lost or used to fund Mr Virdee’s lifestyle. In sentencing Mr Virdee, HHJ Pegden QC agreed with the prosecution’s description that his trading over the 2 year period was ‘spectacularly unsuccessful’.
The FCA has obtained a financial restraint order against Mr Virdee’s remaining assets and will pursue confiscation proceedings in relation to Mr Virdee’s remaining assets which will hopefully go some way to compensating the victims in this case.