A pension scammer who lured clients into handing over their retirement savings with promises of huge returns has been jailed for six years.
Darren Say, an IFA, from Loughton, Essex, opened the Noisnep pension scheme in 2010 and promised clients he would invest their money in a lucrative Caribbean resort.
Some of the clients were his own employees.
Say told the clients the money was invested in the development of a luxury Bahamas holiday resort that would be worth £100 million when completed.
But the returns did not materialise, and instead, Say dipped into the fund and made off with more than £1 million before police caught up and arrested him.
Convicted of fraud
Say denied charges of dishonestly making false representation to make gains to self or another and carrying on the business of a company with the intent to defraud creditors but was convicted by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court in July.
He was jailed for six years for fraud by abuse of position and two years for fraudulent trading to run concurrently.
Say was also disqualified from being a company director for eight years.
Christopher Tarrant, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Say treated the money entrusted to him as his own and spent it on funding his lavish lifestyle including buying a plot of land to build his family home.
“He provided his clients with impressive looking figures which they could look forward to on retirement, despite knowing this would never happen.
“Say denied his guilt but the evidence presented by the Crown Prosecution Service meant the jury were sure he had committed the frauds alleged and convicted him.”
The name of the scheme – Noisnep – comes from ‘pension’ spelt in reverse. The scheme was run as a SIPP.
Noisnep advertised the scheme as ‘no risk’ for investors, claiming investments were in addition rather than replacing pension savings.
Say was formerly director of financial advice firm Wealth Connection, which was not involved in the offences.
At the time of his arrest in January 2016, Say told financial media: “I can confirm that we are facing enquiries and we deny those vigorously and we will pursue the truth.”