Wales

£8.5m spread-bet man Stuart Mudge hit with restrictions

Cardiff County Court Image copyright Jaggery/Geograph
Image caption Stuart Mudge was hit with restrictions during a hearing at Cardiff County Court

A Newport man who ran a failed £8.5m spread-betting scheme has been hit with lengthy bankruptcy restrictions.

Stuart Mudge, 61, took money from investors from 2009-12, but later admitted breaking the law by operating without Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorisation.

He failed to pay £7m to the FCA and was declared bankrupt in 2014.

Mr Mudge will now face "severe financial restrictions" for 12 years, the Insolvency Service said.

Ken Beasley, Official Receiver at the Insolvency Service, added: "This case is a prime example of the losses that can be incurred via an investment scheme that looks too good to be true."

The Insolvency Service said Mr Mudge took the money from investors for his scheme, the Churchgate Trading Syndicate, over a three-year period.

An investigation found investors were promised "guaranteed returns" of 15% every quarter.

However, Mr Mudge's assets were frozen and he was blocked from operating the syndicate after the FCA obtained an injunction in February 2012.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The spread betting trading syndicate operated between June 2009 and February 2012

The Insolvency Service said Mr Mudge acknowledged operating the syndicate without FCA authorisation and breaking the law. A High Court judge subsequently ordered him to pay £7m to the FCA to distribute to the investors.

He was declared bankrupt in December 2014, after failing to pay any money to the FCA.

Other sums recovered funded a "small, pro-rata return" to the investors but they have suffered "substantial losses", the Insolvency Service said.

After further investigation by the Official Receiver, Mr Mudge was made subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order at Cardiff County Court in February.

He cannot promote, manage or be a director of a limited company until February 2029 and he must disclose his status to a credit provider if he wishes to borrow £500 or more, among other constraints.

Mark Steward, of the FCA, said: "Investors are often lured by false promises of high returns without the high risks being disclosed to them.

"Spread betting on securities or currencies is typically risky and investors in Mr Mudge's scheme ended up losing substantial amounts of money."

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