Issued by North Yorkshire Police
A York financial advisor who defrauded his clients out of £160,500 has been jailed for 18 months.
Michael Bains, 47, was sentenced at York Crown Court on Tuesday 6 August 2013 after pleading guilty on 5 July 2013 to six counts of fraud.
The court heard that Bains of Hamilton Drive East, had run up substantial debts over a considerable period of time.
After borrowing money from friends and family, he then turned to clients he had met through business dealings, persuading them to invest in private deals for non-existent property development and investment schemes.
Diligent and detailed enquiries by DC Neil Jefferson of North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit, showed that Bains had used the money to fund repayments to other investors as well as his gambling habit and expenditure on female escorts he had met via internet sites.
When confronted with the evidence, Bains admitted he had lost over £100,000 through gambling. Further enquiries showed that he had visited different escorts on at least 49 occasions, spending around £150 on each visit.
Detective Sergeant Edwards from the Financial Investigation Unit, said: “Bains has used his position to convince people who trusted him to invest their life savings wisely.
“He has cynically used their hard earned cash to indulge his obsession for gambling and escorts – there was no investment scheme – only other victims to repay.
“He has now declared himself bankrupt so there is little chance that the victims of the fraud will receive any compensation.
“I would advise anyone who is offered returns above the market rate to consider very carefully before investing, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Bains’ victims lost between £100,000 and £15,000, including a 58-year-old woman from Hertfordshire who lost her life savings of £100,000 which she intended to use to buy the rented property she was living in.
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