Investment fraudster sentenced for currency trading scam

Manraj Virdee promised some investors guaranteed returns of up to 100%

The Financial Conduct Authority has secured a conviction against Manraj Virdee for misleading customers, fraud and illegally operating an unauthorised investment scheme worth over £500,000.

Virdee was the sole director of Dynamic UK Trades and, between October 2015 and November 2017, he promoted an unregulated deposit taking scheme, mainly targeting his wider family and associates.

He also entered into an agreement with one investor to manage £192,500 in spread betting trading, but only used £10,000 for this purpose.

In addition, Virdee received around £600,000 from investors, some of whom were “guaranteed” returns of up to 100% based on his claimed success as a currency trader.

In reality, however, only £457,119 of those deposits were actually traded and almost all were lost or used to fund his lifestyle.

In sentencing, Judge Pegden agreed with the prosecution’s description that Virdee’s trading over the two years was “spectacularly unsuccessful”.

He was handed a two-year suspended prison term and ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Confiscation order

“The FCA’s prompt action nipped Mr Virdee’s fraud in the bud and stopped it becoming inevitably bigger, causing greater loss to a wider group of victims,” said Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the regulator.

“The FCA reminds investors to beware of anyone who is not authorised to carry out the activities they are offering.”

The regulator has obtained a financial restraint order against Virdee’s remaining assets and will pursue confiscation proceedings in relation to his remaining assets, which will hopefully go some way to compensating victims in this case.

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