Five individuals have been sentenced following an investigation conducted by the SFO into the use of overseas independent financial advisors (IFAs) to attract investment in a commercial property loans business. The scheme, which operated under the name, Prudential Commercial Investments (PCI) defrauded investors who were predominantly British ex-pats retired or living abroad. The investors were made to believe, on the basis of advice from their IFAs, that their funds would be channelled into a lending scheme for commercial property buyers in the UK secured by mortgages and would receive high returns. Instead the fraudsters diverted investors' funds to offshore accounts for their personal benefit.
Confiscation of their assets remains to be sought. The SFO will also be requesting the Court to compensate the victims from any assets that are recovered.