Press release

Court winds-up companies involved in fraudulent investment scheme

Four connected companies wound up after they were found to fraudulently secure close to $600,000 from overseas investors.

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North London-based Carlton Church Ltd, Standard Fidelity Ltd, Cathay Dupont Ltd, and International Finance & Consulting Ltd were all wound up on 13 August 2019 by Judge Briggs in the High Court of Justice, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service. The Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator.

At the hearing to consider the petition to wind up the companies, the court heard that the four companies claimed to trade as IT consultants, software developers, promotors of humanitarian projects in Asia and providers of business outsourcing services in order to secure funds from overseas investors.

Following confidential investigations by the Insolvency Service, however, the Court upheld there was no evidence that the companies had been engaged in any form of legitimate business activity.

Investigators established that the four companies, including similar named companies registered abroad, fraudulently sold shares in pharmaceutical companies to the overseas investors.

All together the four companies secured $572,739 (USD) from 8 investors based in Russia, Australia, Dubai, Oman and South Africa and the proceeds raised through the fraudulent shares were laundered through an organised crime ring in the Philippines.

Enquires established that shares purchased never materialised and when investors sought to take back their investments, further funds were demanded before any payment would be made. However, despite investors paying over additional money, they did not receive any of their investments back.

Further evidence uncovered that all four companies demonstrated a lack of transparency, they were specifically incorporated to operate a fraudulent investment scheme and all four operated with a lack of commercial probity having failed to file accounts or provide accounting records to investigators.

The court also heard that there was evidence that all four companies were closely connected. They all shared a common director, David Martyn, as well as a company secretary, Geoffrey Dixon.

And while Barry Rosen was listed as the actual owner of the companies, investigators determined that he was a patsy for another person - David Gilinsky.

Investigators were also able to demonstrate to the court that Barry Rosen’s conduct was questionable as he had been arrested by the Philippines National Police in August 2018 in relation to alleged instances of transnational online fraud and wider investigations into organised crime syndicates operating in Manila.

The crime syndicates carried out boiler room frauds, which use high pressure sales techniques and cold calling people in order to solicit them to invest in questionable share schemes, and specifically targeted expatriates by misrepresenting themselves as stock brokers.

The court was informed at the hearing of the petition that investigations into the four companies have been conducted in various locations and jurisdictions. Warnings had been issued by the Financial Conduct Authority, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Japanese Financial Services Authority, New Zealand Markets Authority and Luxemburg’s Commission de Surveillance de Secture Financier.

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.

All enquiries concerning the affairs of the companies should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT. Telephone: 0207 637 1110, Email: piu.or@insolvency.gov.uk.

Notes to Editors

The four companies include:

  • Carlton Church Ltd (10122061) incorporated on 13 April 2016
  • Cathay Dupont Ltd (10534974) was incorporated on 21 December 2016
  • International Finance & Consulting Ltd (09423564) was incorporated on 5 February 2015
  • Standard Fidelity Ltd (10280561) was incorporated on 15 July 2016.

All those companies shared a common registered office, at 196 High Road, London, N22 8HH.

The petitions to wind up the companies were presented in the High Court of Justice on 11 July 2019, under the provisions of section 124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 following confidential enquiries by Company Investigations under section 447 of the Companies Act 1985, as amended.

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 here.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available here.

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Published 2 September 2019