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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 two 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.