On 26 July 2021, a Judge at Southwark Crown Court imposed a sentence of four years' imprisonment for fraudulent trading activities.

Following an Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) investigation, criminal proceedings were brought against Ian Hudson. He was not authorised by the FCA to undertake financial services but advised on regulated mortgages, pensions and other investments and accepted client funds, purporting to invest the same on their behalf.  

The FCA has reported that he used funds deposits by clients to re-pay existing clients, to make payments to other individuals, or to fund his own lifestyle. In total, approximately £2million was deposited by Mr Hudson’s clients.

Mr Hudson pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading and carrying on regulated activities without authorisation. In imposing a four year custodial sentence, the Judge will have taken into account the sums involved, the fraudulent activity over a sustained period of time, the breach of trust and the deliberate targeting of victims.

Confiscation proceedings will now follow and assets which are realised will be used by the FCA to compensate the victims.

The case highlights once again the need for investors to be vigilant but also how seriously the Courts take such offending.