FCA secures £1.6m for investors from alleged unlawful investment schemes

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has secured court approval to obtain £1.6m from Argento Wealth Ltd (AWL) and its sole director Mr Daniel Willis, who promoted 2 alleged unlawful investment schemes. 

The FCA previously commenced civil proceedings against AWL and Mr Willis to recover investor funds linked to the firm’s alleged unlawful activity, with the regulator successfully securing undertakings which froze AWL’s/Mr Willis’ assets.

The High Court has now approved a consent order, with the intention that the money is returned to investors in the schemes.

The FCA alleged that AWL unlawfully:

  • took approximately £2.8m as deposits under loan agreements and/or as part of an unauthorised collective investment scheme
  • arranged investments in EMB Fund Limited (EMB) totalling about US$9m which breached the restrictions on financial promotion

The FCA also alleged that Mr Wills was knowingly concerned in this unlawful activity.

AWL and Mr Willis have not admitted any of the FCA’s allegations that led to the proceedings, which began on 1 June 2022, but have agreed to pay money to the FCA intended for the eventual distribution to investors.

Further court hearings are required to decide how and to whom the funds secured in this agreement should be distributed. This process may take a significant amount of time.

The settlement agreed by the FCA was intended to prevent all of AWL/Mr Willis’ remaining assets from being used up to meet the ongoing legal and living costs. Without the settlement, there would have been a significant risk of the remaining investor money being used to fund legal fees, leaving nothing for investors. Despite the settlement, investors will suffer very significant losses.

Notes to editors

  1. The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well. To support this, it has 3 operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; to protect and enhance the integrity of the financial system; and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers. 
  2. For information about organisations such as Citizens Advice and Victim Support that may be able to assist investors, read our victim support information (PDF)
  3. Previous press release: The FCA starts court process to recover money for investors.
  4. AWL is not, and never has been, an FCA authorised firm. Almost all firms offering financial services in the UK must be authorised and registered by the FCA. Members of the public should check our register to find out if a firm or individual is unauthorised. You should only deal with financial services firms that have been authorised or registered by us. If you deal with an unauthorised firm, you will not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong.
  5. Find out more information about the FCA.