Scammers raised £1.4 million from hundreds of unwary investors by claiming worthless shares in a health care company would generate stellar returns.
The gang tricked investors out of their cash by promising that their health care company would make huge profits mainly from expanding across Dubai.
But the reality was they were liars making extravagant claims about the investment opportunity that they knew was untrue.
Despite the lies, the crooks sold the shares by cold-calling investors for five years from February 2009.
More than 300 investors were persuaded to hand over cash in exchange for the worthless shares.
The shares were for company Symbiosis Healthcare Plc, which was set up by Aleem Mirza, a medical doctor, to provide “healthcare solutions”.
Samrat Bhandari was a director of William Albert Securities (WASL), a company which acted as corporate advisors to Symbiosis and organised the selling of Symbiosis shares. Albene Mendy worked for WASL. Michael and Paul Moore were brokers who sold Symbiosis shares to investors.
Investors were misled
Mirza and Bhandari were found guilty of several offences of misleading investors after a trial at Southwark Crown Court. Mendy was acquitted of similar charges.
The Moore brothers had admitted misleading investors at a previous hearing.
Mark Steward, Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the Financial Conduct Authority, said: “Misleading financial promotions relating to investment schemes cause untold harm to consumers.
“The FCA is determined to ensure those who are involved in setting up and operating schemes like this one, without FCA authorisation, are identified and held to account fully permitted by law.
“In due course confiscation proceedings will be commenced, with a view to securing as much compensation as possible for those who have suffered a loss because of this criminal conduct.”
Six guilty of £2.7 million boiler room con trick
Meanwhile, in another criminal prosecution at Southwark Crown Court brought by the FCA, three defendants were found guilty for their roles in a series of boiler rooms scams which netted more than £2.7 million from victims.
Three more defendants had pleaded guilty to charges related to the boiler rooms at an earlier hearing.
The details of the defendants cannot be published as they are due to face further trials next year.