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FCA urges victims of Ponzi scheme to get in touch

Written by: Emma Lunn
The regulator wants to hear from members of the public who lost money to Churchgate Trading Syndicate.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has urged members of the public who lost money in an unauthorised scheme called the Churchgate Trading Syndicate and who may be eligible to receive some of their money back, to get in contact.

Between June 2009 and February 2011, Stuart Carl Mudge and Anthony John Lewis ran the Churchgate Trading Syndicate in Newport, South Wales.

The FCA said the scheme was a Ponzi scheme in which investors were paid returns from other investors’ money. The syndicate claimed that the returns were from loans and spread betting.

Investors were guaranteed returns of 15 per cent every quarter and told that their money would be used to trade spread bets. Mudge and Lewis obtained more than £8.5m from investors.

In February 2012, the FCA obtained interim injunctions against Mudge and Lewis, freezing their assets and preventing them from operating the syndicate.

Lewis settled on a no fault basis and paid £446,000 to the FCA in 2014. The FCA obtained a High Court order in 2014 requiring Mudge to pay just over £7m to investors. The FCA, having recovered funds, made a distribution in 2016 to the 93 victims whom it was able to trace.

The FCA has approximately £100,000 remaining to distribute to those investors who have not yet claimed their share of the funds recovered by the FCA. There are five investors whom the FCA has not been able to trace. It is thought that most of them live or lived in or around South Wales.

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “If you believe you were an investor in one of these unauthorised schemes, please get in contact with us. We have worked hard to secure and return funds to eligible investors and it is only right that all victims of this insidious scheme should benefit from our work by claiming the sums due to them as soon as possible.”

Investors who have not yet contacted the FCA, should do so even if they no longer have records or documentation relating to the investments. In the first instance, they should email or write to the FCA at: Freepost RTZE–RHAL–URAJ, for the attention of UBD RE00670, Financial Conduct Authority, 12 Endeavour Square, London E20 1JN.

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