A not so golden investment
London-based Caledonian Limited and Caledonian Commodities Limited have been wound up in the High Court in London following a 5 day trial before Mr Robin Dicker QC sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court.
This followed an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
Caledonian Limited marketed and sold a succession of products namely carbon credits, rare earth metals, coloured diamonds, storage pods and precious metals to the public. A sister company Caledonian Commodities Limited was also involved in the marketing and selling of some of the investments.
Both companies sold the precious metals namely gold and silver via unallocated gold accounts. The precious metals were purchased by investors and were held in the name of Caledonian Limited and not in their individual names despite the investors being lead to believe that this was the case.
The court heard that a number of investors believed that they were purchasing physical gold and some were told that should the company enter into liquidation their investment would be safe. However this would not be the case.
During the trial it was established that Caledonian Limited currently holds approximately £62,204 of gold and silver. It appeared that the current shortfall as against investors’ positions may amount to as much as £425,000 by value. In essence the company had not purchased sufficient and/or sold precious metals that resulted in an unfunded precious metal account.
The sales of carbon credits, rare earth metals, coloured diamonds and storage pods totaled at least £134,083.
Deputy Judge Mr Robin Dicker QC in his judgment stated:
In my view, the business of the companies has been conducted in a way which does not meet accepted minimum standards of commercial behavior. This is the case not merely in relation to the marketing and sale of carbon credits, rare earth metals and coloured diamonds, where the Companies accept that investors were seriously misled, but, despite assertions to the contrary, also in the sale of precious metals. Such trading involved mis-selling which, in a number of respects, can only have been deliberate.
Commenting on the case, David Hill, a Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:
The companies persuaded members of the public to part with substantial sums of money to invest in precious metals and a variety of alternative investments. At the end of the day nothing remained and the savings of members of the public had been lost.
As so often is the case, if an investment scheme appears to be too good to be true, it probably is.
Notes to editors:
Caledonian Limited (company number 05406041) was incorporated as a private company on 29 March 2005 under the Companies Act 2006. Its sole shareholder and director was Ozden Hasan, appointed as director on 19 June 2012. Its registered office was Suite Lp29515 Caledonian Limited, 20-22 Wenlock Road, London, England, N1 7GU.
Caledonian Commodities Limited (company number 8300771) was incorporated as a private company on 20 November 2012 under the Companies Act 2006. Its sole director and shareholder was Ozden Hasan, appointed at incorporation. Its registered office address was 17 Ensign House, Admirals Way Canary Wharf, London, E14 9XQ. Caledonian Commodities Limited was dissolved on 26 April 2016, but was restored to the register on 10 November 2016.
The petition was presented under s124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 on 06 February 2015 and the winding-up order was made on 10 November 2016. Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Further information about live company investigations is available.
The Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), administers the insolvency regime, and aims to deliver and promote a range of investigation and enforcement activities both civil and criminal in nature, to support fair and open markets. We do this by effectively enforcing the statutory company and insolvency regimes, maintaining public confidence in those regimes and reducing the harm caused to victims of fraudulent activity and to the business community, including dealing with the disqualification of directors in corporate failures.
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Published: 25 November 2016
From: The Insolvency Service