PracticeAccounting FirmsCourt orders accounting firm to pay back £3.7m

Court orders accounting firm to pay back £3.7m

Upton & Co to pay back more than £4m to investors after an investigation by the FSA found it was running an unauthorised scheme

An accountancy firm has been ordered to pay £3.7m by the High Court after an
FSA investigation discovered it was running an unauthorised investment scheme.

The High Court ordered Upton & Co Accountants, which is owned and
controlled by ACCA-qualified David Upton, to repay £3.717m to investors on a pro
rata basis. Upton also agreed to pay further £840,000 in monthly installments of
£10,000.

The firm was running a collective currency scheme where investors pooled
money to invest in foreign exchange markets. However, the FSA claims limited
trading occurred and little cash was returned to investors.

Margaret Cole, director of enforcement and financial crime, said the FSA
commenced its investigation into Upton & Co Accountants in February 2009 and
“promptly” realised the firm was carrying out “unauthorised business”. The
government body sought a High Court injunction to stop activity and freeze the
firm’s assets a month later. The High Court ruling on how much to repay
investors was made yesterday (20 July).

“Operating a collective investment scheme is a serious business involving the
management of a number of investments and requiring FSA authorisation.

“Upton had no business running one of these schemes and the firm risked
millions of pounds of investors’ money – something you’d expect a firm of
accountants to know better,” said Cole.

More to follow.

Further reading:

FTSE
100 audits require “significant improvement”, inspectors find

Accountant
jailed for £1.3m fraud

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