[UPDATED] Former adviser Darren Say has been sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty of two counts of fraud last month.
Say was found guilty of fraud by dishonestly making false representation to make gains to self or another, and for carrying on the business of a company with the intent to defraud creditors, after a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court in July.
At a hearing today Say has been sentenced to six years imprisonment for fraud by abuse of position and two years for fraudulent trading. The sentences are to run concurrently, meaning they run at the same time.
He has also disqualified from being a director for eight years.
Say was charged by the police last January with fraud by abuse of position relating to a company called Noisnep (the word 'pension' spelt backwards). This business was separate from Essex-based advice firm Wealth Connection, where he was a director between 2011 and 2013.
According to from the Crown Prosecution Service Say told investors, some of whom his own employees, that their funds would be used to develop a luxury holiday resort in the Bahamas which would be worth over £100 million when finished.
Instead, said the CPS, Say took the money for himself. This amounted to £1 million, made up of his clients’ pension funds and tax breaks from HMRC for which they qualified.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard that while at one point there had been over £1 million in Say’s company accounts, by the time he was arrested in January 2016 all of the money had been spent.
Christopher Tarrant, of the CPS, said: ‘Say treated the money entrusted to him as his own and spent it on funding his lavish lifestyle including buying a plot of land to build his family home. He provided his clients with impressive looking figures which they could look forward to on retirement, despite knowing this would never happen.
‘Say denied his guilt but the evidence presented by the CPS meant the jury were sure he had committed the frauds alleged and convicted him.’
Last October the jury at Chelmsford Crown Court failed to reach a verdict and the case was sent to a re-trial. Following the re-trial the jury came to an unanimous verdict at the end of last month.