Jersey's financial regulator has barred an adviser, who misled a group of elderly, vulnerable and financially inexperienced clients in order to obtain millions of their cash, from working in the industry again.
Christopher Paul Byrne, former Managing Director of Lumiere Wealth Limited, was convicted in 2018 of offences relating to his conduct as a financial adviser and sentenced to a seven-year custodial sentence.
Byrne was found guilty of a total of 16 counts of financial misconduct. The offences involved practicing as an advisor when he wasn't authorised, providing false information to the regulator, and misleading his clients, which included a an elderly French couple, a pensioner and a retired teacher.
As well as jailing him for seven years in November 2018, the Royal Court also ruled that Byrne should be disqualified from managing a company for a period of 12 years.
A statement issued by the JFSC last week says Mr Byrne held a trusted position as a financial adviser but fraudulently provided clients with unsuitable and misleading advice, and dishonestly facilitated a loan from a vulnerable client for his own personal benefit.
Pictured: Lumiere Wealth, Mr Byne's former firm.
Kerry Petulla, the JFSC's Executive Director of Enforcement, said that the role of financial adviser required independence and unbiased advice free from the influence of product providers.
"Mr Byrne, like all advisers, was required to have the highest regard for his clients but our investigation revealed that he prioritised his own and the company's financial interests over the clients' interests, resulting in unrecoverable client losses of approximately £12m," she said.
"We have concluded Mr Byrne misled clients and the JFSC, and his actions were dishonest, and he lacks integrity. Mr Byrne's conduct poses a significant risk to the JFSC's guiding principles and objectives and therefore it is necessary to restrict his employment in Jersey's financial services industry."
The JFSC statement adds that any person or business allowing Mr Byrne to perform a function, engage in employment or hold a position within or related to the Jersey financial services industry is committing an offence.
Read the full statement from the JFSC here.
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