Shaun Kiely, a dealer in retail properties, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court on Monday to three years in jail and disqualified from being a director for seven years for defrauding seven investors in deals exceeding £1.3m.
Kiely was the director and shareholder of Sky Properties Northern, a property development and real estate business and of S-Mart Stores Plc, a chain of small retail outlets in locations across the UK. He deceived investors in 2005 by promoting the S-Mart stores, managed by staff he appointed, as profitable businesses whereas in fact, very little trading was being done.
The defendant, who was found guilty at Preston Crown Court in May 2011 of obtaining money transfers by deception and of false accounting, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment and disqualified from being a director for seven years. Confiscation proceedings have commenced.
Sentencing Kiely today, Judge Jonathan Gibson, commented: "The jury accepted that there was a lie at the heart of the case. The sign of your calculation was that at first sign of failure, rather than improve trade by investing money, you walked away."
Serious Fraud Office director, Richard Alderman said: "Shaun Kiely abused the trust of the people who invested in his business. They expected a return for their money, but all they got was worry and distress. I am very pleased that justice has now been served."