The FCA has secured an interim injunction stopping these activities from continuing and freezing the defendants’ assets up to £624,311 pending further hearing.
The regulator alleges that from 2017 onwards, 24HTA and/or Mr Maricar have been advising on investments and arranging deals in investments without FCA authorisation.
The watchdog also alleges that he was engaging in financial promotions without being an authorised person or having the promotions approved by an authorised person.
The FCA also alleges, alternatively, that Mr Maricar has been knowingly concerned in 24HTA’s contraventions.
The watchdog says that 24HTA/Mr Maricar had been transmitting ‘trading signals’ and making other investment recommendations to clients via WhatsApp and other social media platforms.
According to the FCA, clients were told that if they followed these ‘trading instructions’, they would make significant profits.
In addition, consumers were encouraged to sign up with a ‘partnered’ broker to place their trades.
24HTA/Mr Maricar would receive sign up and other commissions from the brokerages in addition to the monthly payments from clients for the signals.
The FCA is seeking final orders including a declaration from the Court that the defendants carried on regulated activities without the required FCA authorisation and unlawfully made financial promotions as well as an order preventing them from carrying out these activities in the future.
The FCA will also seek a restitution order that would distribute the defendants’ frozen assets to consumers who suffered financial losses as a result of the alleged breaches of the Financial Services and Markets Act.