A rogue financial adviser spent thousands of pounds on paying of his debts from money that clients had given him to invest.
Gerald Chiatoh Etangayong, from South East London, was the only director and shareholder of GEC Consultancy Ltd, a company formed to offer investment advice and training.
The company started trading in 2014, but collapsed into voluntary administration by November 2015.
An inquiry by The Insolvency Service uncovered Etangayong, 30, had misused client funds while running an unregulated investment scheme.
At least £200,000 of investor cash is missing.
As a result, Etangayong has agreed to a 11-year disqualification as a director.
GEC collected more than £194,000 from investors, but only invested around £96,000 in foreign currency and although the funds increased in value by around £22,000, only £57,000 was repaid to investors.
Etangayong said the remaining £61,000 was spent paying GEC’s debts, while £17,000 went into his pocket.
The company also took money from investors despite knowing that promotional material was misleading.
Exaggerated claims included that funds would be ‘safe and secure at all times’, would be held in a segregated account and that investors would receive all their money back the end of the investment period.
Clients should also have been told about investment risks, including potential large losses and the highly volatile and unpredictable nature of the foreign exchange market.
Robert Clarke, head of company investigation at the Insolvency Service, said: “ Etangayong abused his position by knowingly taking money for investments he knew were never viable.
“An 11-year disqualification is a substantial ban and should serve as a warning that we will always look to remove from the business community those directors who act below the standards that should be expected of them.”
The disqualification stops Etangayong acting as a director, managing a company or limited partnership or as a receiver of company property until October 30, 2029.