Two brothers, Peter Currie (57) and Andrew Currie (56), were sentenced today (Friday 14th July) to 5.5 years and 2.5 years imprisonment for fraud and money laundering following their prosecution by the FCA.
The sentence comes after Peter Currie, from Thornton-Cleveleys, was convicted of 2 counts of fraud (one by false representation as to the Register, one by abuse of position) and 1 count of money laundering and Andrew Currie was convicted of 1 count of fraud by abuse of position and 1 of money laundering at Southwark Crown Court following a 5-week trial earlier this year. Sentencing took place today, Friday 14th July.
Andrew Currie was sentenced to 2 years 6 months imprisonment for fraud by abuse of position and 2 years 6 months for money laundering contrary to s.327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Both sentences to be served concurrently.
Peter Currie was sentenced to 3 years 6 months imprisonment for fraud by false representation, 2 years for fraud by abuse of position and 2 years for money laundering contrary to s.327 of POCA 2002. Counts 2 and 3 to be served concurrently but consecutively to Count 1.
Peter Currie was a director of peer-to-peer style investments firm Collateral which, before collapsing into administration in February 2018, fraudulently claimed on a website to be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
According to the FCA in December 2015 Peter Currie swapped the details of a separate company he had agreed to sell, named Regal Pawnbrokers Ltd, for the details of Collateral on the FCA register. Over the following 18 months, Collateral was advertised as authorised to persuade people to invest in loans on its platform.
In January 2018 the FCA notified Peter Currie that it had uncovered the register change and ordered that Collateral cease unauthorised business. But the firm continued to receive investments and the brothers removed some £750,000 from the Collateral client accounts.
At around the same time they appointed an administrator and transferred a further £88,000 from Collateral funds without informing the FCA as is required.
Steve Smart, Joint Executive Director of Enforcement & Market Oversight said, ‘Peter Currie fraudulently amended the Register to entice investors in, and together with Andrew, stole client money once they knew the game was up. Unfortunately, the investors will now be left to pick up the tab for the loans that have turned bad. The FCA has begun confiscation proceedings to recover the financial benefit obtained by the defendants, as well as compensation proceedings to recover investor funds. We welcome these significant sentences which show we will take every enforcement action at our disposal to pursue criminals and protect consumers.’