Elias Elia’s buyback of bits of collapsed E-Clear investigated

Actions by the founder of the credit card processing firm have incurred the wrath of creditors

Elias Elia, the founder of E-Clear, the credit card processing firm that collapsed with debts of more than £100m, is seeking to buy chunks of his company back from the administrator.

A Cypriot firm thought to be linked to Mr Elia recently paid around £325,000 to BDO, the accountant administering E-Clear, to buy back assets from the wreckage of the firm.

The money is currently being held by lawyers Field Fisher Waterhouse.

The cash is thought to be an initial down payment for NordFinanz Bank, a German bank bought by Mr Elias for £15m when he ran E-Clear.

The Cypriot company has promised to make further payments in the future to complete a full buyout.

A source close the administrator confirmed that a payment from Mr Elia had been received. It is thought that Mr Elia is also looking to buy up the computer systems used by E-Clear.

One creditor familiar with the process said: "Clearly Mr Elias has access to significant sums of money if he can stump up £325,000 to buy up assets. He also wants the computers by all accounts. There really needs to be a full investigation into what the hell is going on here. I understand the administrator has a duty to maximise cash for creditors, but this feels wrong."

The Serious Fraud Office has launched an official investigation into E-Clear, which collapsed in January.

Derek Tullett, a former associate of Mr Elia, who was also thought to be a shareholder in NordFinanz Bank, is believed to be continuing with a legal action against Mr Elia over unpaid loans. However, Mr Tullett was unavailable for comment.

BDO, the accountants, said last week that it was still trawling through E-Clear's finances, but declined to comment on specifics of the case.

The investigation is already believed to have cost creditors, which include the airline Globespan and the Canadian travel firm Sunwing, hundreds of thousands of pounds in fees payable to BDO.

Creditors will be hoping that BDO manages to recover money from the possible sale of a Knightsbridge property, believed to be 29 Rutland Court, which was bought by Mr Elia during his tenure at E-Clear.

However, it is thought that Coutts, the bank, already has a charge against the £3.5m property, meaning that the amount of money BDO will be able to recoup from the asset is likely to be less than first thought.

A report earlier this month claimed that Mr Elia used his director's account at E-Clear to buy a brand-new, £135,000 Ferrari in the spring of 2008, and a £155,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom, with the number plate ECL 34R, in May of the same year.

Mr Elia has continued to deny any suggestion of wrongdoing, claiming he is personally owed millions from the collapse of his company. He was also unavailable for comment.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high