The Financial Services Authority (FSA) succeeds in assisting investors who have been victims of the unauthorized collective investment scheme operated by Upton & Co. Accountants Ltd. (Upton). The High Court issues a Decision earlier today directing the return of ₤3.717 million to complaining investors to be divided by them on a pro rata basis according to their failed investments. The ruling also comes with the undertaking of Upton to make further payment to the complaining investors in the amount of ₤10,000 per month.
Darren Upton, a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the owner and manager of the Wakefield-based firm, operated, through the latter firm, a collective investment scheme called “Currency Plan.” The Plan promised investors high rates of return of their money purportedly after their investments would be used in foreign exchange markets. Aside from not being authorized by FSA to engage in such an investment scheme, the Wakefield-based firm also engaged in very limited foreign exchange trading so it was not able to return the promised high rates of cash. Acting on the complaint of the investors, FSA investigated the firm and in March 2009, secured an injunction from the High Court ceasing its business activity as well as freezing its assets. Subsequently, FSA came up with an agreement with Upton for the firm to pay ₤3.6 million to the investors immediately and another ₤840,000 in monthly installments.
With the High Court’s approval of the agreement between FSA and Upton, the Enforcement and Financial Crime, through its director, Margaret Cole, is elated of the outcome of FSA’s active prosecution. The recovery of a large proportion of the investment money is a real coup, says Cole, and is a reminder to the public in general that a collective investment scheme is a serious business that requires an FSA authorization.