A FATHER and son have been given a six week suspended prison sentence after obtaining money from a couple who were led to believe they were financial advisors.

Phillip Taulke-Johnson, 53, and James Taulke-Johnson, 27, of St Anselms Road, were charged with obtaining £15,000 from a Worthing couple who went to the men believing they were authorised financial advisors.

The money was to be invested on a short term basis but was used by the father and son for their own purposes. The offence happened in 2010 but was reported to police in 2011 after the couple failed to recoup their money. Both men were arrested on October 12, 2011.

The men were both given a six week suspended prison sentence and ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid work after pleading guilty at Worthing Magistrates’ Court to fraud offences.

Detective Constable Sara Liau of West Sussex CID said: “This was a serious breach of trust which caused the victims considerable financial difficulty and all the stress that goes with it in an already difficult economic climate. Fortunately, they have now received their initial investment back following the police investigation.

“We would urge people to always check the qualifications of any financial advisor. Make sure that they or the company they work for is registered with the Financial Services Authority before handing money over and if in doubt always seek advice.”