A monetary advisor who pocketed nearly £2 million from his victims as a part of a bogus funding fraud rip-off has been convicted.
Stephen Rae appeared at Newcastle Crown Court docket on Tuesday (June 20) the place he pleaded responsible to 16 counts of fraud towards 16 separate victims.
The offences date between June 2014 and January 2016 and adopted an identical sample of victims investing pensions, lump sums and financial savings with the 63-year-old, however by no means seeing their return.
Rae’s offending got here to mild in 2015 when two victims reported him to Durham Constabulary and Motion Fraud respectively.
The ladies had each despatched him substantial six-figure sums beneath the proviso he would make investments the money into numerous schemes and repay them with important curiosity.
Nonetheless, each ladies reported to the authorities when their sums did not materialise, and Rae started ignoring their calls and correspondence.
The case was referred to Northumbria Police by Motion Fraud, and specialist officers launched a radical investigation. This started with a warrant, executed at Rae’s tackle in South Shields.
Throughout their searches, officers famous a luxurious automobile on the tackle together with an Aston Martin Vanquish, they usually additionally seized his laptop computer and gadgets.
When examined, Rae’s laptop computer was discovered to have monetary information belonging to 113 shoppers and his banking information confirmed that roughly £2.8 million had been invested with him.
Officers approached all shoppers to ascertain if there have been any additional victims – and had been contacted by 14 people, all reporting substantial losses and an identical sample of behaviour to the primary two victims.
When Rae was introduced in for questioning in January 2018, he refused to remark in interview, and wouldn’t help with enquiries.
However, due to the persistence of the Drive’s monetary investigators and fraud officers, he was later charged with a complete of 16 offences.
And on Tuesday, Rae, of King George Highway in South Shields, pleaded responsible to 16 counts of fraud. He has since been launched on bail and can be sentenced on September 8.
Talking after the sentencing, the officer answerable for the case, Detective Constable Craig Tomlinson, mentioned: “That is precisely the outcome we needed for our victims, it’s only a disgrace it has taken Rae so lengthy to confess what he’s performed.
“I hope the sentence he’s given will replicate the devastating impression his greed has had on his victims, a few of whom have misplaced their full pension pot and life financial savings.
“Fraud can break lives. Victims not solely lose their financial savings and the futures they dream of, however many are sometimes deeply affected by the betrayal and breach of belief and confidence they’ve suffered.
“This has been an extended and sophisticated case and I wish to reward the victims who got here ahead for his or her assist and assist and I hope this conviction affords them a way of closure.
“For anybody who thinks they will abuse the legislation and a place of belief like this, assume once more. As a Drive, we won’t tolerate criminality like this and can do all we will to convey offenders earlier than the courts.
“I’d additionally wish to take this chance to thank the entire officers and workers from Northumbria Police, Durham Constabulary, Motion Fraud and our colleagues on the Crown Prosecution Service for his or her onerous work and dedication.”
Det Con Tomlinson added: “Should you plan on investing, please do your analysis and guarantee that any advisor or firm you propose on utilizing is registered with the Monetary Conduct Authority and their contact particulars match up. If the web site, quantity and tackle don’t match, don’t make investments. You too can test the FCA warning checklist of corporations to keep away from and search neutral recommendation. We’d additionally advise individuals are additionally cautious when parting with massive sums of cash. And in the event you suspect foul play, report back to Motion Fraud instantly.”