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Two jailed for fraudulent property investment scheme

Kathryn Clark and Richard Clay, the former directors of unregulated investment scheme Arck, have been imprisoned for fraud crimes.

The pair both pleaded guilty to fraud, in October 2014 and December 2014 respectively, in relation to a failed £50m property investment scheme.

Clark and Clay were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court, with Clay receiving ten years and ten months and Clark receiving a two year suspended sentence and 300 hours unpaid work. In addition, Clay was handed a five-year serious crime prevention order.  This could restrict Clay's individual business deals and limit his travel arrangements, while he will also have to declare all his financial affairs to the police.

Earlier this year Clay and Clark were disqualified from being a director of a company by the Insolvecy Service for 15 and 14 years respectively.

According to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Clay was the driving force behind the Arck schemes which operated and financed the company. Clark, on the other hand, was able to aid Clay with the fraud by supplying a “veneer of credibility” because she was authorised under the Financial Services Act. 

While Clark accepted full responsibility for her actions and was given a further reduction for co-operating with the SFO during their investigation, Clay was given a much longer sentence because the judge deemed him by far the most responsible.

“I have concluded two things, that you [Clay] will blame anyone else for what you have done and that you have shown not a shred of remorse for the damage you have caused to other people,” Judge Loraine-Smith said.

“Those who did business and socialised with you would have thought you were a very successful businessman from your homes, holidays, your helicopters and a series of smart cars. I have been told none of your businesses succeeded. All of it was bought with other people's money.”

David Green, director of the SFO, added: “This was a pernicious fraud that robbed people of their life savings and pension funds.”

Clark and Clay were charged with making representations to investors in Arck investments that they knew were not true or misleading between 2006 and 2012.

Roughly 750 investors ploughed funds into Arck which offered plots of land - including resorts in Cape Verde - with planning permission. It entered liquidation in June 2012 during an investigation by the Financial Services Authority and the SFO.

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