Financial Conduct Authority
High Court orders illegal pension introducers Avacade, Alexandra Associates and their directors to pay £10,715,000 restitution to consumers
The two companies and three individuals must pay restitution to members of the public who were induced to transfer their pensions into self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs).
In a case brought by the FCA, the High Court has ordered two companies and three individuals to pay a total of £10,715,000 in restitution to members of the public who were induced to transfer their pensions into self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs).
The order was made on Friday 7 August 2020 against Avacade Limited (in liquidation), Alexandra Associates (UK) Limited trading as Avacade Future Solutions (AA), Craig Lummis, Lee Lummis and Raymond Fox.
In a judgment dated 30 June 2020, the Court found that Avacade’s and AA’s activities were unlawful as they had engaged in the regulated activities of arranging and advising on investments, made unapproved financial promotions through their websites, promotional material and in telephone calls to consumers and made false or misleading statements. The Court also found that the Lummises and Mr Fox were knowingly concerned in Avacade’s and AA’s breaches.
A further hearing took place on 31 July 2020 to determine the amounts the Defendants should pay in restitution for their roles in the unlawful activity.
The Court has ordered the Defendants to pay the following sums in restitution: £10,000,000 (Avacade), £715,000 (AA), £2,500,000 (Craig Lummis), £2,500,000 (Lee Lummis) and £1,700,000 (Raymond Fox).
Additionally, AA, the Lummises and Mr Fox have been banned from engaging in regulated activities in the UK without authorisation, making financial promotions and making false or misleading statements about regulated investments.
Mark Steward, the FCA's Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight yesterday said:
"The FCA will make wrongdoers financially accountable to consumers whom, as the Court recognises in this decision, '…include elderly and vulnerable citizens who have paid their due share of income tax, made sacrifices, and taken prudential decisions for their future retirement over the course of an honest working life*.”
Subject to any appeals against the judgment, the FCA will take steps to recover monies from the Defendants, so that it can return them to the investors. Any Avacade/AA customers who believe they may have lost money and have not previously been contacted by the FCA about this matter, should contact the FCA to provide their details.
Notes to Editors:
- The High Court judgment on restitution was given on 7 August 2020
- *High Court judgment of 7 August 2020, paragraph 83(link is external)
- High Court finds against illegal pension introducers, Avacade and others
- Find out how to report an unauthorised firm
- Find out more information about the FCA
Latest News from
Financial Conduct Authority
Christopher Woolard to chair review of unsecured credit market regulation17/09/2020 14:10:00
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that Chris Woolard will chair a review of the future regulation of the unsecured credit market, reporting to the FCA Board.
FCA proposes the next stage of support for consumer credit and overdraft customers17/09/2020 10:25:00
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced proposals to ensure that firms provide tailored support for users of consumer credit and overdraft products who continue to face payment difficulties due to coronavirus (Covid-19).
FCA publishes Decision Notice against Corrado Abbattista for market manipulation16/09/2020 14:10:00
The FCA has published a Decision Notice today in respect of Corrado Abbattista, an experienced trader and a portfolio manager, partner and Chief Investment Officer at Fenician Capital Management LLP, for market abuse, imposing a financial penalty of £100,000 and prohibiting him from performing any functions in relation to regulated activity.
Result of FCA’s Business Interruption test case15/09/2020 13:20:00
The High Court has today handed down its judgment in the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA)’s business interruption insurance test case.
FCA seeks views on how to improve the consumer investment market15/09/2020 11:20:00
The FCA has today launched a Call for Input (CFI) to help shape its work on improving the consumer investment market.
FCA finalises its expectation for firms on maintaining access to cash for customers14/09/2020 15:05:00
The FCA has today set out its expectations for the steps firms should take when considering closing branches or ATMs, or converting a free-to-use ATM to pay-to-use.
FCA confirms the next stage of support for mortgage borrowers14/09/2020 13:20:00
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed the support mortgage borrowers will receive if they continue to face payment difficulties due to coronavirus.
FCA publishes Annual Report and Accounts 2019/2011/09/2020 12:25:00
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its Annual Report and Accounts, which looks back on the organisation’s key pieces of work throughout 2019/20.
FCA publicly censures former Worldspreads CEO for market misconduct10/09/2020 10:25:00
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) yesterday published a Final Notice in respect of Conor Foley, the former Chief Executive Officer of Worldspreads, publicly censuring him for market abuse and banning him from performing any roles linked to regulated activity.