UK regulator secures confiscation order against investment fraudster

Maria Nikolova

The Financial Conduct Authority has secured a confiscation order totalling over £170,000 against Manraj Singh Virdee, convicted of investment fraud.

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has secured a confiscation order of £171,913.60 against Manraj Singh Virdee, a convicted investment fraudster. The order was issued in Southwark Crown Court on December 16, 2019.

The confiscation order was entered following an FCA prosecution in which Virdee was sentenced to a 2-year prison sentence suspended for 2 years for defrauding investors of over £600,000. The conviction related to misleading consumers, fraud and the illegal operation of an unauthorised investment scheme worth over half a million pounds. The effect of the confiscation order is to confiscate all Mr Virdee’s criminal proceeds.

The Court found that Virdee had gained £666,730.58 from his criminal conduct, but that the total realisable assets for confiscation were £171.913.60. Mr Virdee lost the rest of the victims’ monies through unsuccessful FX trading and maintaining his lifestyle.

The money will be used to compensate the 24 victims of his crimes who lost in the region of £650,000 in total.

If Mr Virdee fails to pay the confiscation order on time, he is liable to be sentenced to a further two years in prison.

In February 2019, Virdee was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to a 2 year prison sentence suspended for 2 years and he was further ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work in the community. The sentence followed earlier guilty pleas to four charges relating to misleading consumers, fraud and the illegal operation of an unauthorised investment scheme worth over half a million pounds.

Virdee was the sole director of Dynamic UK Trades Ltd and between October 2015 and November 2017 he promoted a deposit taking scheme without authorisation from the FCA mainly targeting wider family and associates. He also entered into an agreement with one investor to manage £192,500 in spread betting trading in which only £10,000 was used as promised.

Virdee received a total of approximately £600,000 in funds from investors some of whom were ‘guaranteed’ returns of up to 100% based on his claimed success as a currency trader. In reality, only £457,119 of those deposits were actually traded by Mr Virdee and almost all of these funds were lost or used to fund Mr Virdee’s lifestyle.

When sentencing Virdee, HHJ Pegden QC agreed with the prosecution’s description that his trading over the two-year period was ‘spectacularly unsuccessful’.

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