A former managing director of Jersey-based financial advisory firm Lumiere Wealth has been sentenced to seven years in prison, charged with selling fraudulent investments.
Christopher Byrne was convicted of fraudulent offences in September this year after his trial lasting four weeks concluded in the Royal Court. Bryne's clients lost almost £3m when the investment scam eventually collapsed.
According to the Jersey Evening Post, Byrne's initial defence was that he "did not know the fund was fraudulent and was advising his clients."
Yet today, Friday, the Royal Court found Byrne to be guilty of providing fraudulent advice to investors regarding the risk level of the fund and withholding from clients information relating to his lucrative stake in the fund. Bryne was also found guilty of forging a loan document for £1 million from a partially-blind widow and misleading the Jersey Financial Services Commission, the island's financial regulator.
During the hearing earlier today, Simon Thomas, the crown advocate, argued that Bryne's interviews with the Guernsey police had been only of "minor importance." Thomas also said that Byrne continued with many of the positions that he held during the trial. He insisted he was duped and had been acting solely on behalf of his clients.
Following today's court verdict, Byrne is banned from working in the finance sector in any capacity for 12 years.