The brothers behind a British peer-to-peer style investment platform have been sentenced to a combined eight years in prison for fraud and money laundering.
Before its collapse into administration in February 2018, Collateral offered P2P style investments on a website fraudulently claiming it was authorised and regulated by the FCA.
In December 2015 Peter Currie swapped the details of a separate company he had agreed to sell - Regal Pawnbrokers - for the details of Collateral on the FCA’s public Register.
Then, for 18 months, the company was advertised as authorised by the FCA to encourage people to invest in loans on its platform.
In 2018, the FCA notified Peter Currie that it had uncovered the Register change and ordered Collateral to cease unauthorised business. After this, Collateral not only continued to receive investments, but Peter, and his brother Andrew Currie, removed approximately £750,000 from client accounts.
Last month, the brothers were convicted and now Peter Currie has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison, with his brother receiving a two and a half year sentence.
In sentencing, His Honour Judge Griffith remarked in respect of Peter Currie that "Collateral was built on foundations of sand and dishonesty".
Steve Smart, joint executive director, enforcement and oversight, FAC, says: "Peter Currie fraudulently amended the Register to entice investors in, and together with Andrew, stole client money once they knew the game was up."