Two brothers from Norfolk have pleaded guilty to defrauding more than 200 people out of millions of pounds.
Alan Taylor, 38, of St Stephen’s Road, Norwich, and Russell Taylor, 37, of Trunch Road, Mundesley, used their company Taylor & Taylor Associates Ltd to scam clients out of vast sums of money between 2008 and 2015.
The brothers fraudulently produced client records and misrepresented documents and persuaded their clients, who were often elderly and vulnerable, to sign them in order to gain access to their pension funds.
Without the clients’ knowledge, they then transferred the money to another company they owned, Vantage Investment Group Ltd, and placed them in a high-risk finance scheme.
It was a win-win situation for the two men – if the investments paid off they would take 20 per cent of the profits, and any losses were effectively funded by the client.
In 2015 several clients became concerned about the loss of their money and contacted Action Fraud, who passed the information on to Norfolk Police. An investigation was launched but as the scale of the fraud became apparent, the case was passed to the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).
The Taylor brothers were subsequently arrested for fraud offences and today (Tuesday) they both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud. On average each client lost almost half of their total pension funds.
Detective Chief Inspector Liz Fernandes, from ERSOU, said: “This was a hugely complex investigation involving a total of 239 victims, who were conned out of around £17 million in total.
“The Taylor brothers greatly abused the trust their clients had in them and invested their hard-earned money into a high-risk investment scheme akin to a roulette wheel. All this was for their own personal gain – to fund their lavish lifestyle and tastes, with the brothers splashing out on purchases such expensive cars and even a private boat.
“I’m pleased that both men have pleaded guilty, saving the victims the further trauma of having to give evidence in court. We are determined to tackle criminals such as the Taylors who think that they can use deception to help themselves to other people’s money. I hope this shows that ultimately, crime will never pay.”
Case Officer, Detective Constable Ian Webb added: “Alan and Russell Taylor defrauded their own clients of over £17 million – a staggering amount of money and a disgusting breach of trust. The Taylor brothers were relentless in obtaining access to more of their client’s pension funds and savings in order to keep their scheme operating as it was helping fund a lifestyle that they otherwise could not afford. “
The brothers have been bailed pending sentencing on the week commencing April 30.
Anamarie Coomansingh from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Alan and Russell Taylor took over their father’s business and used his client lists to target victims who trusted them to invest their money wisely.
“The scheme they chose was not a surety to increase pension pots, as the Taylors told their victims, but was similar to gambling their clients’ futures on the spin of a roulette wheel. One victim unknowingly invested £200,000 in the scheme and was left with just over half of that amount. Others had to take up part-time jobs to help them through retirement as a result of the impact on their finances.
“The CPS was able to show that the advice given by the Taylors to their victims was anything but honest and was instead designed to line their own pockets. Faced with this, the defendants entered guilty pleas.”