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13 Feb, 2008

Published: 10:39 Wednesday 13 February 2008
By: Tony Bonsignore, New Model Adviser News Reporter

A Wiltshire man who posed as a stockbroker for seven years and swindled investors out of more than £350,000 has been sentenced to 15 months in prison.

William Anthony 'Robin' Radclyffe of Salisbury unlawfully acted as a stockbroker between 1997 and 2004, London's Central Criminal Court was told in a case bought by the Financial Services Authority. During this time he lied to clients about an illegal collective investment scheme he was operating.

Radclyffe also stole an investment portfolio valued at around £100,000 and failed to return £20,000 owed to his former partner. A number of Radclyffe's other friends were among his victims, and he used the proceeds of his criminal activities to fund his day-to-day expenses, including his children's school fees.

Radclyffe pleaded guilty to 15 offences under the Theft Acts, the Financial Services Act 1986 and Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, and asked for a further 34 offences to be taken into consideration. In addition to the prison sentence he was also disqualified from being a company director for five years.

Sentencing Radclyffe on Monday, Judge Wiggs said he had breached the trust of people who trusted him and treated him as a friend. 'You knew your actions were unlawful and those who suffered would not have course to recompense,' the judge said.

Margaret Cole, director of enforcement at the FSA, said the prosecution showed the FSA's determination to deter criminal activity. 'We hope others considering such dishonest conduct will take notice of the custodial sentence imposed,' she said.

However, despite the sentence, there was little that Radclyffe's victims could do to recover their losses, the FSA admitted. As an authorised broker Radclyffe's clients are unable to claim via the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

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