Minister warns on dubious investments

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The Independent Online
Nigel Griffiths, the Competition and Consumer Affairs Minister, warned that the Department of Trade and Industry would come down hard on dubious investment schemes. Penalties resulting from a DTI investigation could range from shutting down the company and disqualifying directors to a prison sentence. "The message I have for the fledgling investor is that there is no such thing as easy money. The greater the promised returns, the greater the risk that you will lose your money," Mr Griffiths said.

His comments came as the DTI announced that it completed 221 company investigations last year, 11 more than the previous year, while insider dealing probes rose by eight to 21 after the Stock Exchange changed its policy on referrals. The department mounted 317 prosecutions, involving 353 defendants, of whom 320 were convicted. Seventy-nine of the defendants went to prison.