FCA bans investment firm partners over £50m fraud

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The FCA has banned the individuals behind a £50m fraud which invested client money via Sipps into collapsed property investment firm Arck.

Former Arck partners Richard Clay and Kathryn Clark have been banned from working in any regulated financial services role.

Arck invested clients’ pensions through Sipp firm HD Administrators and other related companies, and was liquidated in 2012.

The Serious Fraud Office and Nottinghamshire Police charged Clay and Clark with dishonesty offences in November 2013.

Clay pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud and was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in prison, while Clark pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery and three counts of fraud. She was given a suspended sentence of two years.

The FCA says: “The FCA has concluded both Mr Clay and Ms Clark are not fit and proper to carry on any function in relation to any regulated activities.

“In addition to banning Ms Clark, the FCA has also withdrawn her FCA approval in relation to HD Administrators. Mr Clay was not an FCA approved person at HD Administrators, nor has he been an FCA approved person since 2005.”

Earlier this year, Clay was ordered to pay over £344,000 as part of a confiscation order relating to the fraud. Clark was ordered to pay £178,522.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme began assessing claims against Arck and HD Administrators in September 2015.