Ex-financial adviser jailed for £750k fraud

A former financial adviser who conned his clients out of nearly £750,000 has been jailed for more than 10 years.

Peter Dilenardo, 50, showed a “complete disregard” for his victims, West Yorkshire Police said.

Dilenardo, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, near Ilkley, was convicted of eight fraud offences after a trial.

At Leeds Crown Court earlier he was jailed for a total of 10 years and three months, and banned from being a company director for nine years.

Police said he had worked as an independent financial adviser who was authorised to give investment advice about products regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

But when that authorisation ended in 2014, he continued to advise clients to take money out of regulated funds and invest them in his company – Orion Financial and Luna Property Management, based in Otley.

He conned his victims from around the UK out of a combined £747,000, according to the force.

Dilenardo then sold his client portfolio despite a restraint order, and paid more than £100,000 worth of proceeds into UK and US accounts.

After a nine-week trial, he was found guilty of eight fraud offences including abuse of position and false representation, selling client bank accounts, forging signatures, carrying out a regulated activity unauthorised, and perverting the course of justice,

He also admitted a ninth offence of contempt of court.

Ramona Senior, of West Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said Dilenardo had shown a “complete disregard for his victims and [their] financial hardship and stress”.

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