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Financial adviser who ran ‘fraudulent’ gold mine scheme receives maximum bankruptcy ban

  • 17/02/2017
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Financial adviser who ran ‘fraudulent’ gold mine scheme receives maximum bankruptcy ban
A financial adviser who ran a fraudulent gold mine investment scheme has received the maximum bankruptcy restriction order of 15 years for managing a company while being an undischarged bankrupt and disqualified as a director.

Stephen Benjamin James Todd, 35, was disqualified from acting as a director for a period of 10 years, on 8 October 2012 due to his behaviour relating to a previous company he managed, which went into liquidation. He was subsequently made bankrupt on 29 April 2013, and at the time of the bankruptcy order his debts ran up to £454,107. Over half of the sum was derived from unpaid National Insurance, self-assessed tax and penalites.

Despite the ban, he managed a firm called IPR Capital Limited, incorporated in February 2013 which went into liquidation on 1 April 2015 with debts of more than £10m. IPR Capital promoted a gold mine investment product to the public, despite failing to own any mining rights. This scam has resulted in losses to the public of £5.5m.

Todd also failed to disclose income he had earned from IPR Capital, said to be at least £517,000, during the bankruptcy proceedings. He earned the income between 29 April 2013 and 15 April 2014. He also received just under £60,000 from other parties in the nine months after being made bankrupt. He had told the Official Receiver he had assets to value of £8,800.

When handing Todd the maximum bankruptcy restriction available, Registrar Christine Derrett described his behaviour as one of the worst examples of someone having disregard for the insolvency and directors disqualification regime which exists to protect the public.

When IPR was wound up on 1 April 2015, the company had assets of £11,723 but liabilities ran close to £10.5m. Registrar Clive Jones, who dealt with the closure of the firm, described IPR Capital’s trading method as a ‘fraudulent scheme’.

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