The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority fined Conor Foley, former CEO of financial spread-betting company WorldSpreads Ltd., £658,900 for market abuse and banned him from performing any roles linked to regulated activity.
In its decision notice, the FCA said that between January 2010 and March 2012, large spread bets were placed on the shares of Worldspreads Group on the trading accounts of WorldSpreads clients. This resulted in false and misleading statements in the group's annual accounts in relation to credit policy, the FCA said.
"In addition, large spread bets were carried out on two clients' accounts by Mr Foley himself without the knowledge of the clients and this had the effect, in the view of the FCA, of giving the appearance of greater demand for WSG shares than in fact existed," the regulator noted.
The company subsequently collapsed.
Foley has referred the decision notice to the U.K.'s Upper Tribunal, which will determine what action the FCA will take regarding the matter.