Regulation  

Advice boss jailed over £13m Ponzi scheme

Advice boss jailed over £13m Ponzi scheme

Alistair Greig, who owned and ran Midas Financial Solutions in Scotland, has been sentenced to 14 years in jail after he was found guilty of a large scale investment fraud.

At the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday (April 15), Mr Greig was found guilty of “committing a fraud on an enormous scale” in which he raided investors’ pension pots and life savings to fund his own personal investments.

His actions have seen hundreds of claims passed to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Mr Greig ran a Ponzi scheme, in which new investors' funds were used to pay existing investors, by persuading them to put their cash in guaranteed high-interest accounts.

Midas pitched the investments as offering attractive returns on "favourable terms" made possible by the owner's supposed relationship with a high-street bank. 

However, the high-interest accounts had never existed and instead, investors’ money was placed into the Ponzi scheme, operated by My Greig.

He then used this money to fund his own personal investments.

The judge, Lord Tyre, said the amount Mr Greig was able to acquire through the fraud was “extremely large” at more than £13m.

He also said the amount Mr Grieg had helped himself to in order to fund his lavish lifestyle was significant with almost £6m going into Mr Grieg’s own bank accounts.

The court heard evidence from Midas's financial advisers who were deceived into encouraging their clients to entrust their savings to Midas.

Lord Tyre in his statement revealed how Mr Grieg told the court that these advisers were to blame for the fraud.

Lord Tyre said: “Many of these people have had their lives ruined by the fallout from the failure of the scheme, and yet you persist in asserting – without a shred of evidence led at the trial to justify it – that they were the ones responsible for the fraud, and that they are now conspiring to place the blame on you, and were all lying in their evidence to the court.”

A large number of individuals have now been left without any savings which they are expected to recoup through the FSCS.

The lifeboat scheme has already received 186 claims against Midas with more expected.

Lord Tyre said: “The statements reflect the tone of the evidence we heard from people who had been left to face retirement without the cushion of savings that they had expected to enjoy. It may be that some of these people will recover some of their losses through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, but that does not of itself reflect any credit on you.”

Last year 95 clients of Midas, which was operating as an appointed representative, lost a case against its network brought in a bid to reclaim funds lost in the £13m scheme.

The Court of Appeal sided with the Sense Network, and agreed with a previous ruling that found it was not responsible for the losses experienced by the claimants because the advice given by the appointed representative sat outside of its AR agreement.