Financial Advisor Jailed for Using £844,010 of Client Money to Gamble

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A financial advisor by the name of Mark Pickering received a sentencing after being exposed for spending $1.1 million on his gambling addiction. He acquired this amount of money from his multiple elderly clients’ savings. His clients appreciated his work for his personal touch and were devastated to discover his actions.

The Nottingham Crown Court heard of Pickering’s gambling issues after the bookie, Betfair, tracked his gambling habits for four consecutive years. Judge James Sampson resides over the case. Pickering stole from the savings of eight clients.

Over the past three years, he used £844,010 of his clients’ savings to supplement his spending for gambling purposes. Judge Sampson told Pickering that his clients trusted him as well as the reputable company he worked for and sent him to prison for 40 months.

Judge James Sampson continued to say to Pickering that he effectively stole nearly one million dollars from his current clients. The Judge reminded him that this was no small amount of money, and his clients worked hard to earn that money. He went on saying that when his clients found out his actions, they were devastated and worried about their futures.

While Pickering was self-employed, he was also a representative of St. James’ Place’s Nottingham branch. This financial firm brings in large revenues each year and receives quotes on the stock market. Thousands of clients trusted this company’s name, and Pickering took that away for some clients.

However, St. James’ Place is doing their part of recovering the victims' losses. They have reimbursed each victim of the money they lost from Pickering’s addiction. Judge Sampson stated that this type of crime is by no means a victimless crime.

Pickering will also receive eight counts of fraud from 2013 and 2016. David Allan served as the prosecutor in this case. He commented that Pickering began work as a co-op but eventually moved over to Halifax.

One of Pickering’s victims was a 63-year old widow who followed Pickering as he moved companies. She invested £384,000 after her husband’s death. Pickering told her he would invest it on her behalf. The investigation uncovered many other gut-wrenching stories.

Pickering will be locked away for a few years, and his clients will be able to return to their regular life after their reimbursement from St. James’ Place.

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