Bob Quigley promised handsome returns for friends and family who ploughed their savings into his buy-to-let property business.
But when property prices collapsed, so did Quigley's land and property empire. The 46-year-old, from Livingston, West Lothian, earlier pled guilty to accepting cash deposits without being regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
He admitted taking £470,000 from five investors between 2006 and 2009. All of the money was lost.
Lorenzo Alonzi, defending, said of the accused: "It didn't cross his mind to apply for authorisation and it didn't cross anyone's mind to ask: 'Is that chap authorised?'."
Passing sentence, Sheriff Susan Craig told Quigley he had promised to repay his investors with interest when he was "not authorised to give that advice".