Allansons investors watching Companies House hoping for some clue as to where £20 million of their money went will have to wait a bit longer, as Allansons LLP again used the one-day-trick to avoid filing accounts within the deadline.
The Companies Act requires private companies to file accounts within nine months of their accounting year ending, but due to a loophole in UK company law, you can extend the deadline by shortening your accounting period by a single day, which gives you an extra three months.
Allansons deployed this trick in August and now again on 18 November, meaning its last published accounts are now almost two years old.
The Allansons unregulated investment scheme promised returns of 50% over 6-18 months for investing in litigation funding. Third-party introducers to Allansons claimed the investment was “100% secure with FSCS” and “Zero risk”.
The scheme collapsed after Allansons LLP was shut down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Allansons’ clients were told to find new solicitors. Allansons partner Roger Allanson was previously fined and banned from running his own practice by the SRA over client money breaches unrelated to the investment scheme.
Companies House has confirmed it has no policy to follow when a company ducks its duty to file accounts in a timely fashion by using the loophole.
The Daily Mirror has recently covered the scandal, focusing on sales reps who “hid behind fake names” while selling the Allansons investment.
One poor investor I spoke to has lost £60,000.
“I sold the house I owned with my former husband and was looking to invest some money,” she said.
“The Growth Market said the investment was 100% safe and I very naively thought that was true.
“They sent a lot of articles about the courts already ruling that there had been over-charging of mortgage packages and the mortgage companies had set aside millions of pounds for further cases coming up.
“They explained how they’d got this solicitor who was taking up these cases and they were worth a return of 22 to 50% on investment over six to 18 months.
“I’ve been through a very difficult divorce and have been homeless for a while with the children and was just trying to better ourselves.
“I hear on a Facebook action group I’ve joined that some people have put in £100,000 or more.”
Two members of staff listed on The Growth Market’s website are Paul Farhi (who used the name Paul Taylor) and amateur boxer Lee Roberts (using the name Lee Cannon), both of whom served as directors of firms subject to an FCA warnings for allegedly conducting regulated activities without authorisation.
The Growth Market’s website is still up, claiming to offer “investor security in the form of “Asset Backing” or “Insurance Premium” ” and “Low-risk UK-based companies working in a Government Backed Sector”.
The SRA has not yet revealed its reasons for shutting Allansons down, beyond its original notice in May which stated that Roger Allanson had committed unspecified breaches of SRA rules.
In June the SRA’s Intervention Agent informed investors that their contract was still with Allansons (which can no longer acton the cases investors were funding), that they could not offer any assurances that they would be repaid, and that it is unlikely they would be able to claim from the SRA’s Compensation Fund, as this does not cover failed investments in litigation funding.