Imperial Consolidated founder arrested in SFO raid

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The Independent Online

Lincoln Fraser, the founder and former chairman of the collapsed Imperial Consolidated Group (ICG), has been arrested after his home was raided by the Serious Fraud Office. The homes of two other former ICG executives were also raided and two other people also arrested.

Officials raided Mr Fraser's home, Orford Hall, on the site of an old RAF station in Binbrook, Lincolnshire, on Tuesday. Police broke down doors and gates and took away items including computers.

The SFO is investigating ICG in conjunction with the Lincolnshire Police and ICG's administrators, Mazars. The SFO confirmed it had conducted the raids to further inqui- ries "involving high-yield investment schemes". But it refused to comment on whether anyone is facing charges.

ICG collapsed in 2002 with an estimated £200m of liabilities and few assets.

Mr Fraser's home is at the same location as ICG's old HQ. Its core activity was high- yield offshore schemes but it also ran money-lending and contingency-fee loan firms. At its height, ICG employed some 340 people at Binbrook alone.

The group was set up and run by Mr Fraser, 32, and Jared Brook, 34. By 2000, they were paying themselves £1.5m a year each. Mr Fraser's brother, Nicholas, was taking a salary of £600,000.

But they resigned in 2001 shortly before they were banned by the Department of Trade & Industry from serving as company directors, after the collapse of an earlier and separate company.

The administrators say Mr Fraser and Mr Brook carried on running ICG behind the scenes, in breach of their bans, until the group collapsed.