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The offenders were charged under the Market Abuse regime Reuters

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced on Friday (April 7) that it has charged Worldspreads Limited's (WSL) former financial controller Lukhvir Thind with a fine of £105,000.

Niall O'Kelly, the chief financial officer of now-defunct spread betting business was also imposed with a fine of £11,900. Both were charged with market abuse.

The two individuals were also permanently banned from engaging in any regulated activity-related functions.

WSL floated on the Alternative Investment Market in London Stock Exchange in 2007.

O'Kelly was "closely involved" in the compilation of documents for the flotation, which were found to contain misleading information.

Crucial information pertinent to the company's status was also reportedly omitted.

O'Kelly was further found to have fabricated client trading accounts and illegally accessed actual client accounts as well artificially inflated the company's balance sheet.

O'Kelly and Thind also provided incorrect information in the company's statutory accounts for 2010 and 2011.

WSL initially operated as a sports spread betting establishment, but eventually expanded into spread trading in the financial sector. The company was declared bankrupt on March 2012.

"Mr Thind and Mr O'Kelly deliberately and repeatedly disseminated false and misleading information relating to a publicly listed company." said Mark Steward, FCA Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight,

"Their actions amounted to serious market abuse, undermining the integrity of our markets and this will not be tolerated."

"It is to Mr Thind's credit that he, eventually, raised concerns to the WSL Board and that both he and Mr O'Kelly cooperated with our investigation and admitted market abuse," Steward added.

The FCA had first contemplated filing criminal charges against the offenders, but the available evidence made them file charges under the Market Abuse regime.

The financial regulator has resumed its investigation into the Halifax Bank of Scotland on Friday.