Influencers charged over promoting unauthorised financial investments

Influencers could face up to two years in prison after being charged with promoting unauthorised financial investments, Ellie Pitt has more

Social media influencers, including former Love Island and The Only Way is Essex stars, have been charged over plugging unauthorised financial investments.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has charged them over allegations they were paid to promote the scheme.

The Only Way is Essex star Lauren Goodger, as well as Biggs Chris and Rebecca Gormley, who both appeared on series six of Love Island, are among those accused of issuing unauthorised communications of financial promotions.

Love Island’s Jamie Clayton and Eva Zapico, Towie’s Yazmin Oukhellou, and Geordie Shore’s Scott Timlin have also been charged.

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What are the charges?

The FCA alleges that between May 2018 and April 2021, Emmanuel Nwanze, aged 30, and Holly Thompson, 33, used an instagram account under the handle @holly_fxtrends to provide advice on buying and selling investments called contracts for difference (CFDs), without authorisation from the regulator to do so.

The FCA also alleges that Mr Nwanze paid the nine social media influencers to promote the instagram account to their combined 4.5 million followers.

CFDs are a high risk-investment product which is used to bet on the price of an asset - in this case the price of foreign currencies.

Eighty percent of customers who invest in them lose their money.

The influencers, who are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 13 June 2024, face up to two years in prison if convicted.

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