FSA bankrupts boiler room scam lawyer

Solicitor Adrian Sam has been made bankrupt by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) after his law firm Adrian Sam & Co (ASC) assisted an illegal overseas boiler room scam.

The FSA took the action after ASC and the firm’s former partner John Martin failed to comply with a Court of Appeal ruling in 2005 that ordered the law firm to pay £360,000 to 63 investors to whom it helped peddle cut-price shares as part of the scam.

Jonathan Phelan, the FSA’s head of retail enforcement, said: “This case is a warning to others who act as a UK front for boiler rooms that the FSA will use its full powers against them where possible to recover losses for the victims of their illegal activities.”

Martin had been acting for a company trading as Apex Equities and subsequently Great British Investors, which was illegally carrying on as an investment business in the UK without authorisation in 2000 and 2001.

The courts found that Martin knew that the FSA has not provided a sanction and that the actions – to use investors’ money to acquire the shares for the investors at a price of between £2 and £5 less than they had agreed to pay for the shares – were illegal.

Last August a bankruptcy order was granted against Martin.

Sam has been pursued by the FSA to ensure that the ASC part of the Court of Appeal ruling would be enforced.