Expat investors lose 50 million in Isle of Man Louis Group crash

Published:  9 Sep at 6 PM
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The liquidators of a sector of the Isle of Man-based Louis Group have revealed that millions of pounds sterling are missing from the accounts of the disgraced financial firm.

In yet another disastrous indication that the casino culture is alive and well in expat financial jurisdictions, the collapse of the company has resulted in losses to investors of at least £60 million. Just £10 million is left to be shared amongst the 700 people duped, many of whom are UK expats.

Most investors put in between 10 and 30 thousand pounds sterling, although the heaviest investor was into the company to the tune of £5 million. The South African Louis Group owned several Isle of Man companies before the sector went into liquidation in 2012, leaving investors unable to redeem their cash.

Both the Louis Group Structured Fund and Louis Group Structured Capital were promoted to investors by offshore and UK-based FAs as low-risk property investments. The liquidator’s’ report stresses that significant amounts were transferred to various personal bank accounts and that group founder Alan Louis failed to control conflicts of interest and hidden fees.

According to liquidator Gordon Wilson, acting for PwC, a ‘taint of illegality’ was noted across the group’s entire business based in the Isle of Man. Missing files, questionable and false accounting, dubious financial documents post-dating transactions and more indications of illegal activity were found, he said.

Alan Louis is accused of switching investors’ money into his own accounts, with several million sterling being transferred in 2009. He denies the accusations, saying that a separate audit shows that in excess of £10 million is available to pay investors and that the money transfers made were acceptable practice within the company’s several branches.
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