Brothers convicted of defrauding clients out of up to £17.5 million
Two brothers who defrauded up to £17.5 million from more than 200 elderly and vulnerable clients through their financial advisory business have been convicted today (6 March).
Alan and Russell Taylor, from Norwich, ran Taylor and Taylor Associates. They abused the trust of clients for six years by targeting retirees, or those approaching retirement, to persuade them to invest in a high-risk scheme called the Vantage Trader Fund.
The men would tell their victims the scheme was a safer investment than the savings they already had, but in reality it was high risk and left clients with a future of financial uncertainty. The clients’ money was placed in ‘contracts for difference’ which were effectively bets on stock price movements. The potential advantage was that large sums of money could be made with much smaller investments. However there could also be significant losses.
Taylor and Taylor owned the fund and were therefore making money from these investments but failed to pass this information on to their clients.
In total, more than £17.2 million was invested in the Vantage Fund between 2008 and 2015, Norwich Crown Court was told. The defendants spent their profits on hiring a private jet for more than £150,000, a boat worth more than £50,000 and an exclusive timeshare costing £260,000.
They also bought several expensive Patek Philippe and Rolex watches worth tens of thousands of pounds each. Both men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and will be sentenced at King’s Lynn Crown Court on 30 April.
Anamarie Coomansingh, of the CPS, said: “Alan and Russell Taylor took over their father’s business and used his client lists to target victims who trusted them to invest their money wisely.
“The scheme they chose was not a surety to increase pension pots, as the Taylors told their victims, but was similar to gambling their clients’ futures on the spin of a roulette wheel. One victim unknowingly invested £200,000 in the scheme and was left with just over half of that amount. Others had to take up part-time jobs to help them through retirement as a result of the impact on their finances.
“The CPS was able to show that the advice given by the Taylors to their victims was anything but honest and was instead designed to line their own pockets. Faced with this, the defendants entered guilty pleas.”
Notes to editors
- Anamarie Coomansingh is a Specialist Prosecutor in the Specialist Fraud Division.
- Alan Taylor and Russell Taylor pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud at Norwich Crown Court