Ponzi scammer gets 4 more years in prison for failing to pay back defrauded investors

Rick Steves

“Convicted fraudsters should not be able to retain the proceeds of their wrongdoing and we will continue to ensure orders are not evaded.”

Michael Nascimento has been sentenced to an additional almost four years in prison for failing to pay a confiscation order due 21 December 2021. An additional 1,417 days’ imprisonment.

The individual, initially sentenced to 11 years in prison for operating an investment fraud, was ordered to pay the sum of £976,511.81. He has paid almost half of that amount to date, with the outstanding balance accruing interest at the daily rate of £118.60.

Judge Hehir ordered that, even after serving the sentence in default of payment, Mr. Nascimento will continue to be liable for the outstanding debt. All money recovered from Mr. Nascimento will be used to compensate the victims of his crimes.

Mark Steward, Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, said: “Convicted fraudsters should not be able to retain the proceeds of their wrongdoing and we will continue to ensure orders are not evaded.”

£2.8 million investment fraud with promised returns of 125-228%

Michael Nascimento was involved in a £2.8 million investment fraud, where he was convicted with five associates of defrauding investors through a series of boiler room companies, between July 2010 and April 2014.

Members of the public were cold-called and subjected to high-pressure sales tactics to persuade them to buy shares in a company that owned land on the island of Madeira.

Investors were promised guaranteed returns of between 125% and 228%. The money was, in fact, used to maintain the fraud and to fund the lifestyle of Mr. Nascimento.

Over 170 members of the public invested more than £2.8 million in the shares. Many were elderly or vulnerable, and lost life-changing sums, in some cases all of their life savings.

At the time of sentencing in 2018, Judge Hehir, remarked that Mr Nascimento had shown “utter cynicism and contempt'” for some of the victims. He also said it was ‘particularly repellent’ that elderly people had been specifically targeted and that many of the victims were vulnerable. He said that some of the stories he had heard during the trial were ‘positively heart-breaking’ and that many of the victims had suffered ‘life-shattering losses’.  The Judge said, ‘despicable was not too strong a word’ to describe some of Mr Nascimento’s actions.

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