In a prosecution brought by the FCA, Peter Currie (59) was convicted by unanimous verdicts of 2 counts of fraud and 1 of money laundering and Andrew Currie (57) was convicted of 1 count of fraud and 1 of money laundering at Southwark Crown Court today following a 5-week trial. Andrew Currie was acquitted of 1 count of fraud.
Before its collapse into administration in February 2018, Collateral offered peer-to-peer style investments on a website fraudulently claiming it was authorised and regulated by the FCA. In December 2015 Peter Currie, a Collateral Director, swapped the details of a separate company he had agreed to sell - Regal Pawnbrokers Ltd - for the details of Collateral on the FCA register. Over the following 18 months, the company was advertised as authorised to persuade people to invest in loans on the Collateral platform.
In January 2018 the FCA notified Peter Currie that they had uncovered the register change and ordered that Collateral cease unauthorised business. After this, Collateral not only continued to receive investments but Peter and Andrew Currie also removed approximately £750,000 from the Collateral client accounts.
At around the same time the Curries appointed, without informing the FCA as required, an administrator and transferred a further £88,000 from Collateral funds.
The integrity of the FCA Register is vital to consumer protection. The falsification of the official record by Peter Currie enabled Collateral to masquerade as an authorised firm to defraud consumers, and the jury has quite rightly concluded this conduct was criminal. The FCA has invested heavily in the Register to strengthen controls and make it easier for people to use, with more information available to consumers.
Both will be sentenced on 7 July 2023.
Notes to editors
- Peter Currie (DOB 14/04/1964); Andrew Currie (DOB 29/07/1965).
- On 28 February 2018, Collateral purported to appoint an administrator. On 27 April 2018, on the FCA’s application, the High Court ruled that this appointment was invalid and appointed alternative administrators proposed by the FCA. Collateral has subsequently been put into liquidation.
- The charges faced by Peter and Andrew Currie were fraud by false representation, contrary to sections 1 and 2 of the Fraud Act 2006; fraud by abuse of position, contrary to sections 1 and 4 of the Fraud Act 2006; and converting criminal property, contrary to section 329 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.