Four companies have been wound up following an investigation that found they had fraudulently secured almost £600,000 from overseas investors, the Insolvency Service has said.
Judge Briggs wound up North London-based Carlton Church Ltd, Standard Fidelity Ltd, Cathay Dupont Ltd, and International Finance & Consulting Ltd on August 13, 2019 in the High Court.
According to investigators, the four companies fraudulently sold shares in pharmaceutical companies to eight investors based in Russia, Australia, Dubai, Oman and South Africa.
However, shares purchased never materialised and when investors sought to take back their investments, further funds were demanded before any payment would be made.
In spite of investors handing over additional money, they did not receive any of their investments back, the investigation showed. All together the four companies secured US$572,739 (£478,000).
Further evidence demonstrated a lack of transparency from all four companies and that they were specifically incorporated to operate a fraudulent investment scheme.
The court also heard that David Martyn was a director at all four firms, as was Geoffrey Dixon, who was named as a company secretary.
No accounts or accounting records were provided to the investigators, which led to the conclusion that the four firms operated with a lack of commercial probity.
David Hill, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Throughout our investigations it was plain to see that the companies lacked any sort of transparency and when we tried to engage with the directors there was a total failure to co-operate.
“Our evidence shows that the four companies were part of a wider scheme to target genuine investors and we are pleased with the court’s decision to shut down these companies, seriously curtailing their opportunities to harm anyone else.”
It was confirmed during the hearing that warnings had been issued by the Financial Conduct Authority, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Japanese Financial Services Authority, New Zealand Markets Authority and Luxembourg’s Commission de Surveillance de Secture Financier.
The Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator.