In February I reviewed UCG Trust, which claimed to be a US-based company offering P2P investments paying up to 13.5% per year, while “eliminating all the risk to investors”.
The company operated illegally in both the USA and the UK, in the first case by offering unregulated securities in the US without authorisation from the SEC, and in the second by offering financial promotions in the UK without authorisation from the FCA.
UCG Trust’s website, ucgtrust.com, is currently down. Archive.org last recorded the website as up and running in April 2018, but it currently shows a domain parking page. A couple of phone numbers formerly provided on the website were answered by answering machines that appeared to have nothing to do with UCG.
UCG’s website formerly stated that it was a “trading name of UCG Marketplace Ltd”, registered in Delaware. At the time I found no company of that name registered in the State of Delaware, but there is a shell company of that exact name registered in the UK, owned by a Daniel Fraser John O’Donoghue. I was unable to confirm if this company is related. The UK company is currently subject to a strike-off from Companies House after failing to file up-to-date details of the company’s ownership, and will be dissolved on 9 December if no objection is received.
Daniel Fraser John O’Donoghue is listed as director of a dizzying 112 UK registered companies, many of them with names suggesting some sort of investment business (Etara Investment Ltd, Bitcoin Innovations (UK) Ltd, United Capital Corporation Limited and so on and so forth). Whether super serial entrepreneur O’Donoghue even exists, who knows.
Unless something changes shortly, I’m calling this as another unregulated company disappearing with investors’ money.
Shortly before it disappeared, UCG Trust’s website claimed that $143 million had been raised from investors, although I would take that with the same large pinch of salt wherewith investors should have taken its claims to have “eliminated all the risk to investors”.