A company director has been sentenced to almost six years imprisonment for money laundering as part of a trans-national organised crime group.

Richard Faithfull was handed down the five year and 10-month sentence by Judge Tomlinson following a four-day hearing. He has also been disqualified as a company director for 10 years.

According to the Financial Conduct Authority, Faithfull laundered £2.5m as part of a trans-national organised crime group for more than 12 months with the proceeds of at least seven professionally run overseas investment frauds.

The FCA said the operation was "sophisticated" and used multiple accounts and front companies across several jurisdictions.

"Faithfull was able to use knowledge gained when he worked in the regulated sector - as an investment adviser - to help the fraudsters continue to defraud victims by paying fictional 'dividends' from bank accounts controlled by him to make it look as though the underlying investments were generating returns.

He also involved innocent parties to help assist with his criminal enterprise," the FCA said in a statement.

The FCA added that Faithfull relocated to the Ukraine to avoid detection and continue the criminal activities.

Faithfull had pleaded guilty to the offence on April 16, 2021 and put forward a basis of plea that sought to minimise his role in the offense, which was not accepted by the FCA. The case subsequently went to a trial before a single judge to determine the sentence.

Judge Tomlinson said that Faithfull's offending was "serious" and it was linked to the "human misery caused by boiler room fraud". They added that the money "was not being invested, it was simply being slaughtered".

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: "Faithfull's actions showed little compassion for those affected by the underlying criminality instead seeking only to make a profit for himself and others.

"The FCA remains committed to ensuring that those who choose to break the law are brought to justice."

The FCA will now pursue confiscation proceedings against him to try and seize his illegal gains.