Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA appeals to victims of £8.5m 'Ponzi' scheme

FCA appeals to victims of £8.5m 'Ponzi' scheme

The Financial Conduct Authority is urging victims of an alleged £8.5m "Ponzi" scheme to get in touch with the regulator to reclaim their funds. 

The regulator is appealing to investors who were promised quarterly returns of 15 per cent as part of an unauthorised scheme known as the Churchgate Trading Syndicate, which was run by Stuart Carl Mudge and Anthony John Lewis between 2009 and 2011. 

Based in Newport, South Wales, the scheme paid investors returns funded by other investors’ money, claiming the investments were being used to trade spread bets, according to the FCA. 

The FCA intervened in February 2012 when it froze the scheme's assets and shut down the syndicate - Mr Lewis later settled on a no fault basis and paid £446,000 to the regulator in 2014 and in the same year a High Court ordered Mr Mudge to pay more than £7m to investors. 

In 2016 the City-watchdog distributed the recovered funds to 93 of the victims it was able to trace, but in a statement published today (October 8) the FCA said it still had £100,000 remaining for investors who had not yet claimed their share. 

The regulator said it has been unable to trace five investors who it believes mostly live, or lived, in the South Wales area.  

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: "If you believe you were an investor in one of these unauthorised schemes, please get in contact with us.

"We have worked hard to secure and return funds to eligible investors and it is only right that all victims of this insidious scheme should benefit from our work by claiming the sums due to them as soon as possible."

The FCA said those investors who have not been in touch with the regulator should do so "even if they no longer have records or documentation relating to the investments". 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on fa.letters@ft.com to let us know.