A BROMSGROVE man avoided jail after being found guilty of making £65,000 from a pensions scam.
Paul Reynolds was found guilty of three counts of fraud at Worcester Crown Court on Friday (July 1) after an eight-day trial.
The 45-year-old was an independent financial adviser who ran a company called Aspire Personal Finance where he sold pensions, life insurance and investments to private clients.
Reynolds sold two pensions to himself and two to his wife, from separate insurance companies, totaling £12,800 in premiums. He received £65,000 in communion for the sales but only paid one payment of £1,500 to the insurance companies.
Det Con Dave Foley of West Mercia Police Fraud Squad said: “This has been a long and complex investigation, not helped by the fact Paul Reynolds was working in Dubai and not available to be interviewed.
“Reynolds had previously been fined a substantial amount and banned from providing financial advice in the UK after an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
“He told the court that at the time he took out these policies, he fully intended to meet the premium payments and the pension plans were a tax efficient way of saving money for later in life.
“He denied that he used them as a short-term loan, or that he never intended to repay the money.”
Reynolds was given an 18 month prison sentenced suspended for two years and was ordered to complete 150 hours of community service.
“I am pleased with the verdict of the court and feel the sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime, as well as how West Mercia Police remains committed to bringing those committing fraud to justice,” added DC Foley,