Vincent Tchenguiz accepts £3m to settle claim against the SFO

Mr Tchenguiz, 57, had initially sought £200m from the SFO after he accused the agency of wrongly causing damage to his reputation and his business

Vincent Tchenguiz, the Iranian-born property magnate, yesterday accepted a £3m settlement and an apology from the Serious Fraud Office after it botched an investigation into his financial affairs.

Mr Tchenguiz, 57, had initially sought £200m from the SFO after he accused the agency of wrongly causing damage to his reputation and his business when he and his brother, Robert, were arrested in March 2011 as part of a criminal inquiry into the collapse of the Icelandic bank Kaupthing.

The SFO was forced to admit in 2012 that it had failed to keep a clear record of the information it used to obtain warrants to search Vincent Tchenguiz’s Mayfair home, leading a High Court to accuse the agency of “sheer incompetence”.

David Green, QC, director of the SFO, said it had agreed to pay Mr Tchenguiz £3m to settle his civil damages claim and make a further £3m initial payment towards his legal fees. Mr Green said: “On behalf of the SFO I apologise to Mr Tchenguiz for what happened to him. The SFO has changed a great deal since March 2011, and I am determined that the mistakes made over three years ago will not be repeated.”

Mr Tchenguiz, who together with his brother built a property empire that at one point owned 1 per cent of all residential property in Britain, said he had decided to accept the settlement – a fraction of what he initially demanded – because he believed the SFO had been influenced by “third parties” pursuing their own commercial interests.

In a statement, he said: “It would not be fair to the SFO or indeed the public purse to bear sole responsibility for the actions of those third parties. Accordingly I have settled my case against the SFO and intend to focus my attentions on those other parties whom I consider are responsible.”

The SFO launched a lengthy investigation into the 2008 collapse of Kaupthing after funds flooded out of the bank in the days  before its demise. Mr Tchenguiz borrowed £100m from the bank in 2008 but had always denied any wrongdoing.

The Tchenguiz brothers’ vast property portfolio was once valued at up to £4bn. The economic crisis dented that fortune and they claimed that the SFO’s actions further damaged their businesses.

A separate claim against the SFO brought by Robert Tchenguiz, seeking damages of £100m, continues.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Guru Careers: Communications Exec / PR Exec

£25 - £30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a highly-motivated and ambitious Comm...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral