Crime

Agents banned after misappropriating £9m

Two foreign exchange agents have been banned for a total of 24 years after securing more than £9m from clients that was then used to pay back previous clients, according to the Insolvency Service.

Peter John Roebuck and Francis Edward Tarling both received 12-year disqualifications, with bans effective from 1 October 2020.

The agents are now banned from acting as directors or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the “promotion, formation or management of a company”.

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Roebuck and Tarling were directors of a company called Concept Consultancy Services Limited. Between May 2011 and May 2016, the company entered into Private Loan Agreements with clients that totalled at least £9.1m.

During this time, clients were promised that their funds would be used by a third party to conduct foreign exchange trades, while Concept Consultancy Services would make returns to the client to meet monthly interest and loan repayments.

The company “began to struggle” however, and entered into administration in September 2017 before being liquidated in August 2018. 

The insolvency brought the company to the attention of the Insolvency Service, who then “discovered several instances of misconduct”.

Investigators found that £9.3m of client’s funds was paid into two Concept Consultancy Service bank accounts, while at least £8.4 million was used to meet the interest and loan repayments of earlier clients.

Further enquiries found that at least 15 investors who entered into loan agreements after September 2015 received no repayments from the company.

At the time of its administration, the foreign exchange firm had no funds in its bank account and owed at least £11.2m to 204 clients who were expecting repayments.

Rob Clarke, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Our investigations proved that Roebuck and Tarling accepted millions of pounds from clients who thought their funds were going to be used for foreign exchange trades. 

“However, this was nothing more than an unscrupulous scheme and unbeknownst to investors, new money coming in went straight out to service the debts owed to previous clients.”

He added: “12 years is a significant amount of time for Roebuck and Tarling to be banned from running companies, reflecting the severity of their misconduct, and this case illustrates that directors who fail in their duties will be removed from the corporate arena.”

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