The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced on Wednesday that it will start to return funds to the victims of major fraudulent investment schemes, which duped investors of over £15 million.
The watchdog detailed that fraudulent investment schemes were run by Samuel and Shantelle Golding and their companies, Digital Wealth Society (DWS) and Outsourcing Express Limited (OEL).
The perpetrators operated the schemes between 2015 and 2017 and promised a return of up to 100 percent. They pitched that the companies will purchase cheap wholesale goods from China and sell them at a high price.
Moving Money from One Investor to Another
Even after raising over £15 million from more than 1,000 investors, the companies did not indulge in any significant trading, and only funded the existing investors with funds coming from new investors, much similar to a Ponzi scheme.
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Though the financial market regulator intervened, there was already a shortfall of £3.3 million in the DWS scheme and another £834,402 in the OEL investment scheme. The agency seized various bank accounts maintained by the scheme promoters and the companies and recovered over £3.42 million, which will be distributed among 356 victims.
“The FCA took action as soon as it became aware of these illegal schemes, preventing further losses to future investors who would be unable to exit the scheme before it inevitably collapsed,” said Mark Steward, FCA’s Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight.
“In this case, we managed to save some money for investors: too often it is too late. These firms were not authorized by the FCA and as we always say to consumers, if a scheme looks too good to be true, do not invest.”