Michael Hirst, 53, of Mayals, Swansea, was jailed by Cardiff Crown Court for stealing life savings, nest eggs and a widow’s pension pay-out, in a con that began in August 2007, reports The Daily Mail.
Among the victims was retired nurse Priscilla Thomas, 66, who gave Hirst £17,000 from her pension lump-sum, £4,900 towards her own funeral, and 11 blank cheques for him to use to make investments on her behalf.
“I feel that he has taken my trust, screwed it up into a ball and thrown it back in my face,” she told the court.
Other victims include Teresa Davies, 73, who gave Hirst more than £69,000 for investment, and John Evans, 74, who handed over £40,000 of his life savings.
The fraudster first moved to Wales in 2006 and began working for HHPG, a Cardiff-based indpendent financial adviser. News of his scams came to light in 2010 when he left the business after being convicted of assaulting his wife.
Hirst, who even spoke at the funeral of the husband of one of his victims, was described as "jaw-droppingly callous” by Judge Thomas Crowther, passing sentence.
“You did all this simply to make yourself feel good. Whether your remorse is genuine is questionable given the length of time of offending.”
Another financial jail term came in February when Benjamin Wilson from Bournemouth was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for defrauding investors of more than £21m.
Following a successful Financial Conduct Authority prosecution, Wilson was successfully prosecuted in December 2013 after it transpired that his company, SureInvestment, was “a sham” using investors' millions to fund his “extravagant” lifestyle.
The sentence is still the longest ever passed by the FCA or its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority.