Arck directors banned by the FCA over £50m fraud

Added 25th October 2016

Two UK company directors, who were convicted for giving clients bad advice to invest in fraudulent property investment scheme Arck LLP, have now been banned by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Arck directors banned by the FCA over £50m fraud

In June, Richard Clay, 51, and his former lover and business partner Kathryn Clark, 53, were ordered to pay £562,766 ($807,721, €716,087) for their part in the £50m scam, which claimed to be building luxury holiday properties.

Estrela Santiago, Paradise Beach and Joyston, are just a few examples of the Arck schemes investing in holiday properties.

Offering high returns, with no risk to capital, the unregulated investments conned around 700 investors between 2006 and 2011.

Jailed

In reality, Clay, who is currently serving 10 years in prison for defrauding investors, used the money to fund his lavish lifestyle or ploughed it into various other failed money-making schemes.

Meanwhile Clark was handed to two year suspended sentence for her role in the scheme which included creating forged bank statements that were used to dupe investors who were concerned about their investments.

She was spared jail after the court heard she had been subject to extreme “emotional manipulation” by Clay throughout their relationship.

SFO investigation

The fraud only came to light in 2012, when Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced that it was investigating Arck after investors faced losses of around £50m following the liquidation of the firm, which invested pension savings through Sipp provider HD Sipp.

Clay and Clark were found guilty of using marketing company Arck LLP to push unregulated financial products on individuals and IFAs.

FCA ban

The FCA has now banned the duo from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity in the financial services industry.

The regulator said Clay and Clark are “not fit and proper” to carry out any regulated activities.

In addition to banning Clark, the FCA added that it has also withdrawn her FCA approval in relation to HD Administrators (HDA) while Clay was not an FCA approved person at HDA, “nor has he been an FCA approved person since 2005”.

FSCS claims

In September last year, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) said it was looking in to claims against Arck and HD Administrators, which is liable for losses in relation to Arck investment schemes held in the HD Sipp.

At the time, investors could potentially make two separate claims - either against the financial adviser on the grounds they gave bad advice, or a claim against HD Administrators relating to its role as operator of the HD Sipp. 

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Monira Matin

Senior Reporter

Monira joined International Adviser in March 2016 from Informa Global Markets where she worked as a eurobond reporter for over two years, covering fixed income markets. She has previously held a number of editorial positions covering politics, insurance and technology. Monira has a degree in Journalism and Economics from City University.

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