Guy Flintham sentenced to 6 years for fraud over unauthorised investment scheme

Following a hearing at Southwark Crown Court, Guy Flintham, 46, was today sentenced to 6 years for fraud.

On 19 February 2024, Mr Flintham pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation, following a prosecution brought by the FCA.

Between January 2016 and November 2021, Mr Flintham, based in Blackburn, Lancashire, defrauded more than 240 investors by making false representations to persuade them to invest approximately £19m in an investment scheme operated by him.

Among these representations was the claim that he was a successful trader: in reality he was not.

He lied about how the scheme was operated and the profits that he was making for his investors. He sent them falsified trading statements which showed healthy returns. Any money that was paid out to them as returns was money received from other investors – or their own investment paid back to them.

Only £1.14m was ever placed into trading accounts by Mr Flintham, with a further £10m paid back to investors as ‘profits’ or withdrawals of capital. Mr Flintham spent substantial sums on an extravagant lifestyle, including more than £1m on vehicles, personalised number plates, jewellery and designer goods.

In sentencing, His Honour Judge Milne, remarked:

‘The fraud [in this case] relates to money being taken from friends, from family. It relates to people you know, who you met… you took money from them having looked them in the eye and no doubt shaken their hand.

‘I read the victim impact statements: they are heartbreaking… over and over again I read of the devastation left in the wake of [the fraud you perpetrated].

‘People were devastated by what has happened; people’s lives have been irrevocably damaged.’

Steve Smart, Joint Executive Director of Enforcement & Market Oversight at the FCA, said:

‘Over a 5-year period, Mr Flintham deliberately lied and misled people to persuade them to invest in what amounted to little more than a Ponzi scheme.

‘The sentence imposed today demonstrates the seriousness of Mr Flintham’s offending and is a warning to others who choose to engage in fraud.’

The FCA has commenced confiscation proceedings against Mr Flintham, with a hearing listed for 18 July.

The FCA took proactive steps using their powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to secure available assets at an early stage in the investigation to make them available for confiscation.

A further count of carrying on regulated activity without authorisation or exemption, contrary to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, was ordered to lie on file.

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