UPDATE: Today (26 July) at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Tomlinson sentenced Ian James Hudson to four years' imprisonment for one count of fraudulent trading, with two additional terms of 14 months, each reflecting a breach of s19 FMSA, to run concurrently following his earlier guilty plea.

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement that this followed charges laid by the FCA namely carrying on a business, Richmond Associates, for a fraudulent purpose and carrying on regulated activities when not authorised or exempt.

Mark Steward, executive director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said: "Mr Hudson's defrauding was calculated and persistent over a number of years, preying on victims who believed he was a financial adviser and trusted friend when he was neither of these things. We remind investors to check the FCA's register of authorised person to ensure any financial adviser is authorised to provide financial advice by the FCA."

Between 1 January 2008 and 31 July 2019, Hudson advised on regulated mortgages, pensions and other investments and purported to invest significant deposits received by him from clients on their behalf. At no point during this time was he authorised by the FCA to undertake these, or any, financial services, as is required by law.

In addition, while Hudson told clients that the money they deposited with his business, Richmond Associates, would be invested in various financial vehicles or otherwise put to specific uses, this was not always the case. Instead he used those deposits to re-pay existing clients, to make payments to other individuals, or to fund his own lifestyle. In total, approximately £2m was deposited by Mr Hudson's clients.

The FCA said it was pursing confiscation proceedings and that any sums recovered from Hudson will be used to compensate victims.

An unauthorised financial adviser pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown court on 23 July to defrauding creditors for more than a decade while advising on investments and accepting £1. 9m in client deposits.

Appearing at Southwark Crown Court, Ian James Hudson admitted three counts of fraudulent trading and carrying out regulated activities through his business, Richmond Associates, between January 2008 and July 2019 without authorization by the Financial Conduct Authority, Law360 reported. 

The UK regulator has alleged that, between 1 January 2008 and 31 July 2019, Hudson "advised on investments and purported to invest deposits received by him from clients on their behalf".

He was not authorised by the FCA during this time to undertake these financial services.

The FCA register says Richmond Associates "is no longer registered [since 29/04/2004] with the FCA as an Appointed Representative agent of an authorised firm, and can no longer carry on regulated activities"