Rikki Nicholls, 57, along with Mark Kelly, 52, persuaded 285 victims to move their plans to their company PCD Wealth and Pensions between September 2006 and April 2013.
The money was funnelled into risky investments without the consent of the pension holders who were charged hidden fees while the fraudsters paid themselves large bonuses.
Nicholls and Kelly denied but were convicted of conspiracy to defraud and transferring criminal property after a trial lasting more than five months.
They didn’t care about these people at all. All they cared about was the amount they could make from these people.Prosecutor Mark Fenhalls
The pair were jailed for six years at Southwark Crown Court in July 2022 after standing trial with their wives, Angela Kelly, 55, and 59-year-old Sharon Nicholls.
Mrs Kelly was convicted of transferring criminal property, between October 2008 and March 2015 and she was later handed an 18-month suspended sentence.
It can now be revealed the jury failed to reach verdicts against Mrs Nicholls at the end of that trial. As a result, she has now been cleared of transferring criminal property, namely commission payments from pension holders, following a retrial.
Mr and Mrs Nicholls had started looking at apartments in Cheshire in the run up to Christmas 2009, the court heard.
During the trial, Mark Fenhalls, prosecuting, said to Mrs Nicholls: "At no stage did you turn to your husband and say 'what is our budget?'
"It is ludicrous. Of course you would have had that conversation."
Mrs Nicholls replied: "I can't remember a conversation where he said, 'this is the budget'. It was a very long time ago.
"I asked 'can we afford it.' He said, 'Yeah we can afford it'.
"That's the kind of person he was - he would do these kind of things. I knew at the time that Rikki would never put us at risk financially.
"I knew the money came from earnings. He and Mark were doing really well. They were so excited all the time."
Nicholls told the court that she would sign what her husband asked her to sign because she trusted him.
"I used to joke with him and say 'I hope I'm not signing my life away'. Do you think I don't wish I had checked every single thing he signed? That's how much I trusted him."
Earlier Mr Fenhall said: "Mark Kelly and Rikki Nicholls went into business together under the guise of a trading entity called PCD Wealth and Pensions.
"What they did [was get] other people, known as introducers, to persuade pension holders to transfer their pensions from an underperforming scheme into something called a self-invested personal pension scheme, or a Sipp.
"In getting these pension holders to move their pension plans, various deceptions were made.
"Once they controlled the pensions these two invested the pensions into highly unsuitable products.
"Why did they do that?
"First of all, when they took control of the pensions they gave both gave themselves a hefty commission about which the pension holders didn’t know.
"Second, when they invested the pensions, they got another hefty commission. That is at the core. These two men put their own financial gain over of interests of the pension holders.
"They didn’t care about these people at all. All they cared about was the amount they could make from these people."
Jurors heard that more than £20mn of pension money had been transferred, with each couple making £1mn in just 18 months
The money was then channeled through bank accounts controlled by the wives to ‘reduce visibility’ on the husbands, said Mr Fenhalls.
Jurors heard that PCD, which was not registered in the UK, charged ‘inflated and concealed fees’ and put the pensions at risk.
Most of the targets held pensions with Equitable Life, a company where things had gone ‘badly wrong’ at the time.
I feel stupid for having fallen for such a scheme.John Savage, victim
"Equitable Life had not been trading for years and pensions were doing very badly.
"It is exactly the moment where a predatory financial adviser who knows what he is talking about can target people at their most vulnerable, and that is what Mark Kelly and Rikki Nicholls did", said Mr Fenhall.
The pair, who had previously worked for Equitable Life, took advantage of their ‘experience and understanding’ as well as their access to confidential pension details.
They went on to invest the money into ‘unsuitable and risky’ investments, without telling the pension holders what they were doing.
"What they were doing is to get these people to sign blank forms and filling them out themselves,' said Mr Fenhalls.
"And ask yourself, if you are sure that is what they were doing, how can they ever be honest.
"How can it ever be honest to target pension holders like that?"
In an impact statement read to the court John Braddick, 77, said his losses had caused him ‘physical, emotional and mental suffering.’
Mr Mills said: ‘His life was put on hold. He could not plan his future’ and he spent less time with his wife due to ‘unnecessary strain on their relationship.’
Mr Braddick who was undergoing treatment for various conditions feels ‘completely betrayed.'
John Savage, 59, said he now suffers from severe depression and from low self-esteem. "I feel stupid for having fallen for such a scheme", he said in his impact statement.
Geoffrey Williams, 65, described the experience as a ‘nightmare’ and said the whole affair is always in the background.
Jailing Rikki Nicholls and Mark Kelly for six years each last year, Judge Adam Hiddleston said: "Your aim was to make as much money as possible.
"Each of you did make a considerable amount of money and in a short period of time.
"You lived well off it and spent it. Holidays were taken. Homes were bought and well-furnished."
Sharon Nicholls, of Worcestershire, denied and was cleared of transferring criminal property.
Rikki Nicholls, of Worcestershire, and Mark Kelly, of Cheshire, denied but were convicted of conspiracy to defraud and transferring criminal property.
Angela Kelly, of Cheshire, denied but was convicted of transferring criminal property, namely commission payments from pension holders, between July 2008 and December 2012. She was given an 18-month suspended sentence in October last year.