FCA issues prohibition order against Luke Andrew Durrant for abuse of position
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued an order prohibiting Luke Andrew Durrant from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by any authorised person, exempt person or exempt professional firm.
Whilst an approved person, Mr Durrant committed fraud by abuse of position.
Mr Durrant was previously approved by the Authority to perform the CF30 (Customer) controlled function in relation to Sophex Ltd (trading as Lifetime Financial Solutions Limited) between 2 January 2012 to 16 November 2018. The offences to which Mr Durrant’s convictions relate, took place between 1 May 2016 and 17 November 2018.
On 14 February 2020, Mr Durrant was convicted at Norfolk Magistrates Court of two counts of fraud by abuse of position (contrary to section 4 of the Fraud Act 2006). On 9 June 2020, Mr Durrant was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court to four years imprisonment for each offence (to be served concurrently).
In his sentencing remarks, the Judge, remarked on the features of Mr Durrant’s case. In essence, Mr Durrant set up a hidden bank account in the name of Lifetime Financial Solution Limited which would allow Mr Durrant to easily move cheques which were supposed to go to Sophex Ltd (in the form of diverted client fees) into his own business or personal account.
Additionally, Mr Durrant stole money from various clients (many of those being elderly and in a vulnerable position) who had trusted Mr Durrant and paid money into that account. Over the relevant period, Mr Durrant had stolen in the region of £300,000 from these victims.
In particular, the Judge placed particular emphasis on the fact that Mr Durrant had abused his position of power, trust and responsibility and described Mr Durrant’s offending as having set up a “dishonest and sophisticated scheme”.
Given the nature and seriousness of the matters outlined above, and the severity of the risk posed by Mr Durrant to consumers, financial institutions and to confidence in the market generally, the FCA considers that it is appropriate and proportionate in all the circumstances to make an order prohibiting Mr Durrant from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by any authorised person, exempt person or exempt professional firm.