Individual jailed over boiler room scam

asic charges

UK financial regulator the FCA has announced that Michael Nascimento was today sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment for his role in a share fraud carried out through a series of boiler room companies which led to the loss of more than £2.8 million of investors’ money. He was the controlling mind, instigator and the main beneficiary of the fraud.

Between July 2010 and April 2014, members of the public were cold-called and subjected to high pressure sales tactics to persuade them to purchase shares in a company that owned land on the island of Madeira. The investors were told that the value of the shares would increase substantially when permission to build 20 villas was granted, thereby enhancing the land’s value. Investors were promised guaranteed returns of between 125% and 228%. None were ever paid. Investors’ money was used to maintain the fraud and particularly to fund the lifestyle of Mr Nascimento. Over 170 members of the public invested more than £2.8 million in the shares. Many were elderly or vulnerable, and lost life-changing sums, in some cases all their life savings.

Today’s sentencing follows that of five other individuals involved in the same fraud on 4 September 2018 and takes the total imprisonment for all 6 individuals to 28.5 years.

Mark Steward

Mark Steward, FCA

Commenting on the case, Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said:

This brings to an end the FCA’s largest fraud prosecution which has seen the perpetrators imprisoned for a total of 28.5 years, affording justice to victims who were the subject of their calculated deception. We are continuing to fight for compensation for victims out of their assets.

In sentencing Mr Nascimento, which was concluded today at Southwark Crown Court, the trial judge, His Honour Judge Hehir, remarked that Mr Nascimento had shown ‘utter cynicism and contempt’ for some of the victims. He also said it was ‘particularly repellent’ that elderly people had been specifically targeted and that many of the victims were vulnerable. He said that some of the stories he had heard during the trial were ‘positively heart-breaking’ and that many of the victims had suffered ‘life-shattering losses’. The Judge said, ‘despicable was not too strong a word’ to describe some of Mr Nascimento’s actions.

The Judge commented that Mr Nascimento was ‘very adept at getting others to do his dirty work for [him]’ and that many of his actions were ‘specifically designed to frustrate the task of the FCA and to prevent apprehension’ but nonetheless ‘the FCA had built a formidable case’ against him. Mr Nascimento ‘very rarely broke cover and revealed his identity’ however, where he did he was ‘quite happy to defraud people [he] was looking at in the eye’. He also added that ‘over a period of years [Mr Nascimento] acted single-mindedly in pursuit of riches through fraud.’

Mr Nascimento also received an additional sentence of 2 years for further criminality in respect of a separate prosecution by the Crown Prosecution Service and the City of London Police. This makes his total sentence 13 years.

On 4 September 2018, Charanjit Sandhu who featured in the previous FCA press release in relation to this case received an additional consecutive sentence of 3.5 years in relation to matters prosecuted separately by the Crown Prosecution Service, City of London Police and Kent Police. Taking account of the 5.5 years sentence passed in Operation Tidworth, this makes his total sentence 9 years’ imprisonment.

For additional details about the facts of the Police matters please contact the press offices of City of London Police and Kent Police.

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