The Financial Conduct Authority has banned a former adviser jailed for defrauding victims out of £4.5m, which he used to fund his extravagant lifestyle.
In December 2018 Neil Bartlett was sentenced to eight years in prison at Liverpool Crown Court after pleading guilty to 14 counts of fraud, which he committed in his role as a financial adviser.
In a final notice published on the FCA's website last night (April 8) the regulator banned Mr Bartlett from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity, in a bid to "protect consumers and the UK financial system".
Mr Bartlett was authorised with the regulator between 2012 and 2018 and used his position as a financial adviser to defraud 24 victims, largely his friends and family, out of a total of £4.5m.
The money was used to fund his lifestyle of travel, hotels and gambling, with the FCA warning his victims had "little prospect" of recovering any money as a result.
The FCA said: "The judge in sentencing, remarked that Mr Bartlett’s conduct had a devastating effect on the victims, who lost large amounts of money, saved by them for years in some cases, and representing essentially all of their assets in some cases.
"The judge further remarked that Mr Bartlett was a financial advisor and used a web of deceit to encourage investments into bogus schemes."
Mr Bartlett used his employment at an FCA regulated advice firm to dupe his family and friends into believing he was investing their money into legitimate funds over the course of five years.
In reality, Mr Bartlett had changed the name of his own Santander bank account to almost match that of the advice firm he worked at and was receiving and spending the funds transferred by his victims.
He also set up an email address with a similar name and domain to that of his employer's, in order to direct correspondence with his victims through what appeared to be a legitimate account.
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