The UK's Financial Conduct Authority has obtained High Court Approval to return £3.42 million to compensate victims of a series of unauthorised deposit-taking and collective investment schemes run by Samuel and Shantelle Golding and their company Digital Wealth Ltd.
Digital Wealth was also known as Digital Wealth Society (DWS) and Outsourcing Express Limited (OEL) also known as Kerchiing.
Between 2015 and 2017, the schemes alleged to involve the online purchase of wholesale goods from China for onward sale and promised unrealistically high returns, in some cases up to 100% of the amount invested. No significant trading was conducted and the schemes relied on a continuous flow of new investors to fund existing investors’ returns. Samuel and Shantelle Golding admitted to the court they were personally involved in these contraventions.
The schemes raised just over £15 million from more than 1,000 individual accounts. The FCA took immediate action on learning about the schemes and prevented the disposal of the remaining funds. Despite this action, it spotted a shortfall of £3,285,413 in the DWS deposit-taking scheme and £834,402 in the OEL collective-investment scheme.
The FCA has recovered £3,428,612.42, from various bank accounts containing the proceeds of the schemes, which will now be returned to 356 qualifying investors in the DWS scheme and 250 qualifying investors in the OEL scheme.
Mark Steward, the Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said: "In this case, we managed to save some money for investors: too often it is too late."