On February 17, the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced that at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court, Semperian PPP Investment Partners Limited Partnership had pleaded guilty to acquiring an authorized firm before it had received the necessary FSA approval, an offense under Section 191(3) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Semperian notified the FSA in mid-December 2008 that it proposed to acquire the firm in question but completed the purchase three weeks later, before FSA approval had been obtained.
The court imposed a fine of £1,000 (approximately $1,540), stating that Semperian had taken a calculated risk that the FSA would not prosecute. In determining the level of the penalty, the court noted that the maximum fine at the date of the offense was £5,000 (approximately $7,711; the penalty has since been increased to an unlimited fine), the fact that Semperian had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and that there had been no adverse impact upon consumers.
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