£27.5m 'boiler room' family get 19 years in jail

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The Independent Online

A father and two sons have been jailed for a total of 19 years for running a £27.5m "boiler room" scam. The ringleader, Tomas Wilmot, was sentenced to nine years at Southwark Crown Court yesterday, while his sons Kevin and Christopher were given five years each.

The family controlled a syndicate of 16 boiler rooms that defrauded an estimated 1,700 investors of £27.5m between 2003 and 2008. Many of the victims were elderly and, in some cases, suffering from serious illnesses.

The sentences followed a three-year investigation by the Financial Services Authority including raids on the trio's homes in Guildford and Horsham, and an office in Bramley, Surrey. The boiler rooms operated from Spain with back offices in Malta, Italy, Slovakia, Lithuania, Austria, Andorra, Brazil, Belize, Dubai and some Caribbean islands.

Tracey McDermott, the FSA's acting director of enforcement, said: "The individuals convicted today sought to cloak their activities within an aura of respectability. They are, however, nothing more than cold-hearted criminals."