Court hears what happened to Arck cash

Mr Clay spent 11 years in South Africa between 1994 and 2005, and has been subject to an arrest warrant from the South African police for over a decade.

He was accused of offering illegal money changing services to cheat South Africa’s financial controls, but lied on his job applications when he returned to the UK to get a job in the financial services industry.

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Judge Lorain-Smith said: ‘There has been an issue as to whether [your first fraud] was fraudulent from the outset, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it wasn’t.

‘You may well have seen this as a way to make a lot of money, not necessarily dishonestly.

‘Your attitude is that of a gambler who’s only motivation is that of personal gain.’

‘A huge number of very experienced independent financial advisors where deceived by you, deceived into investing not only their own money but their client’s money as well.’

He continued: ‘No sooner is other people’s money under your control, you start using it as your own.’

He added that since his arrest, Mr Clay had shown ‘a truly remarkable unwillingness to accept responsibility for anything’.

Handing Ms Clark a two-year sentence suspended for two years and 300 hours unpaid work, Judge Lorain-Smith said: ‘You are 50-years-old, you had an exemplary record before you Mr Clay.’

‘Everything I have seen, and I have been provided with a lot of material, has shown you had, by dint of hard work, carved out an impressive career for yourself.’

Mr Clark and Ms Clay were both recently divorced when they met in 2006, and had been working for the same investment firm, the court heard.

Judge Lorain-Smith said: ‘I have seen a lot of evidence about that relationship, not only from your family but from the contemporaneous emails between the pair of you.’

‘You were completely infatuated with him, despite the many and obvious infidelities.’

Ms Clark wept and shook in the dock as the judge read his remarks and leap up to hug her family after leaving the dock.

Arck, which is now in liquidation, created and marketed property investment financial products, focusing on investments in overseas off-plan property – property in the very early stage of the design and planning process.

Investors were told they could make a short-term profit by selling their investment before the project was completed with a price based on the projected final value of the original plot.

Mr Clay, of John O’Gaunts Way, Belper, Derbyshire, admitted three fraud charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Ms Clark, of Birkhall Village Street, Edwalton, Nottingham, admitted three charges of fraud and two counts of forgery.