Brothers jailed for £16.7million fraud in father’s financial advisory business
Two brothers who invested up to £16.7million on behalf of more than 200 elderly and vulnerable clients, resulting in losses of more than £5million, have been jailed today.
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. Many of their clients had been advised for many years by the defendant’s father who had run the business before his retirement. They had no reason to question the advice the brothers gave.
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, a fact they tried to hide from their victims, and were therefore making money from these investments.
In total, more than £16.7million was invested in the Vantage Fund between 2008 and 2015, Kings Lynn 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. Many victims found themselves having to continue to work following the fraud, rather than retiring as they had planned.
Alan Taylor was sentenced to six years in prison and Russell Taylor was sentenced to five years in prison at Kings Lynn Crown Court. Both have been disqualified from being company directors for 12 years.
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 defendants had no consideration of their clients’ circumstances and offered their worthless investment as a better option.
“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.”
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
The Crown Prosecution Service is keen to ensure that the perpetrators of fraud against vulnerable victims are brought to justice. Fraud of any nature is taken very seriously and we have a Specialist Fraud Division dedicated to prosecuting offences of this nature.