Court turns down Harlequin accountants’ appeal bid

In December it entered interim receivership, and the flagship Buccament Bay resort was closed after its electricity was disconnected and staff walked out because they had not been paid.

Mr Ames’ company signed contracts with around 6,000 investors to build luxury villas in the Caribbean and other exotic locations.

But it completed just a few hundred, leaving most investors without either their capital or any of the ‘guaranteed returns’.

Harlequin has faced trouble since early 2013, has been the subject of several warnings from the Financial Conduct Authority, and is mired in a Serious Fraud Office investigation.