Imperial founder guilty of possessing stun guns

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The Independent Online

The former boss of the collapsed Imperial Consolidated offshore investment group has been convicted of illegally possessing two high-voltage stun guns that were found at his Lincolnshire home during a police raid.

Lincoln Julian Fraser, 33, who co-founded Imperial, admitted possession of the guns during an appearance at Lincoln Magistrates Court last week.

Fraser was given a 12-month conditional discharge. No penalty was imposed but could be if he commits another offence over the ensuing 12 months.

Imperial collapsed in June 2002 after a short and fraught existence, owing investors at least £200m. The Serious Fraud Office is now co-ordinating a major inquiry into Imperial and the role of its founders, Fraser and Jared Brook.

The stun guns were found during a series of raids by police officers investigating non- firearm related matters.

The "Thunderblast" guns, which Fraser had bought in the South of France, were capable of generating 150,000 volts of electricity and were similar to cattle prods. They were found in packaging in a bedside cabinet drawer at his home in Brookenby.

The court was told that when Fraser was arrested, he told police he had hoped to transfer a particular electrical component for use in potential neon lighting but he had no idea the guns were prohibited weapons.

Fraser is currently a banned company director in the UK, subject to an asset freeze order, officially bankrupt and out on police bail - which must be answered in mid-July 2004 - as part of the Imperial investigation.