Two British companies and three individuals have been ordered to pay restitution to investors whom their organisations induced to transfer their pensions into self-invested personal pensions or SIPPs.
In a case lodged by the Financial Conduct Authority, the English High Court has ordered two companies and three individuals to pay a total of £10,715,000 in restitution to members of the public who were induced to transfer their pensions into self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs).
The order was made on Friday 7 August 2020 against Avacade Ltd (in liquidation), Alexandra Associates (UK) Ltd trading as Avacade Future Solutions (AA), Craig Lummis, Lee Lummis and Raymond Fox.
In a judgment dated 30 June, the High Court found that Avacade’s and AA’s activities were unlawful as they had engaged in the regulatable activities of arranging and advising on investments, made unapproved financial promotions through their websites, promotional material and in telephone calls to consumers and made false or misleading statements. The court also found that the Lummises and Mr Fox were knowingly concerned in Avacade’s and AA’s misdeeds.
A further hearing took place on 31 July 2020 to determine the amounts the Defendants should pay in restitution for their roles in the unlawful activity.
The court has ordered the defendants to pay the following sums in restitution: £10,000,000 (Avacade), £715,000 (AA), £2,500,000 (Craig Lummis), £2,500,000 (Lee Lummis) and £1,700,000 (Raymond Fox).
Additionally, AA, the Lummises and Mr Fox have been banned from engaging in regulatable activities in the UK without authorisation, making financial promotions and making false or misleading statements about regulated investments.
Subject to any appeals against the judgment, the FCA will take steps to recover monies from the defendants so that it can return them to the investors.