Preston con man splashed £1million on luxury cars after swindling 240 people in £19 million Ponzi scheme

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A man from Preston who swindled more than 240 investors, including friends and family, out of a staggering £19 million has been jailed.

Guy Flintham, 46, pleaded guilty to false representation after being prosecuted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Originally from Fulwood but recently of Whinney Lane, Blackburn, the disgraced investor was handed a six-year sentence at Southwark Crown Court in London on May 17.

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Between January 2016 and November 2021, Flintham defrauded more than 240 investors by making false representations to persuade them to invest approximately £19m in an investment scheme operated by him.

“Among these representations was the claim that he was a successful trader: in reality he was not,” said a spokesperson for the FCA.

Guy Flintham, 46, has been sentenced to six years in jail after defrauding more than 240 investors, including friends and family, to the tune of around £19mGuy Flintham, 46, has been sentenced to six years in jail after defrauding more than 240 investors, including friends and family, to the tune of around £19m
Guy Flintham, 46, has been sentenced to six years in jail after defrauding more than 240 investors, including friends and family, to the tune of around £19m

The FCA added: “He lied about how the scheme was operated and the profits that he was making for his investors, sending his victims falsified trading statements which showed healthy returns.

“Any money that was paid out to them as returns was money received from other investors - or their own investment paid back to them.”

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Only £1.14m was ever placed into trading accounts by Mr Flintham, with a further £10m paid back to investors as ‘profits’ or withdrawals of capital, said the FCA.

Mr Flintham then spent substantial sums on an extravagant lifestyle, including more than £1m on vehicles, personalised number plates, jewellery and designer goods.

In sentencing, His Honour Judge Milne, said: “The fraud [in this case] relates to money being taken from friends, from family. It relates to people you know, who you met… you took money from them having looked them in the eye and no doubt shaken their hand.

“I read the victim impact statements: they are heartbreaking... over and over again I read of the devastation left in the wake of [the fraud you perpetrated].

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“People were devastated by what has happened; people’s lives have been irrevocably damaged.”

Steve Smart from the FCA added: “Over a 5-year period, Mr Flintham deliberately lied and misled people to persuade them to invest in what amounted to little more than a Ponzi scheme.

“The sentence imposed today demonstrates the seriousness of Mr Flintham’s offending and is a warning to others who choose to engage in fraud.”

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The FCA said it has commenced confiscation proceedings against Mr Flintham, with a hearing listed for July 18.

The FCA said it took proactive steps using their powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to secure available assets at an early stage in the investigation to make them available for confiscation.

A further count of carrying on regulated activity without authorisation or exemption, contrary to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, was ordered to lie on file.