SIB hunts for pounds 4m in bond funds: Regulator seeks renewed injunction against 'million dollar man'. Maria Scott reports

Click to follow
The Independent Online
THE Securities and Investments Board believes that up to pounds 4m has been invested in two unauthorised investment bonds marketed by Ian Lloyd-Wright, an offshore financial adviser.

SIB says it has so far found no trace of underlying assets backing the bond funds.

Mr Lloyd-Wright, who has been described as the 'million dollar man' because of past earnings from sales commission, is now based in South Africa, where he is understood to have sizeable assets, including a stud farm. He claimed investors' money was safe, saying he had assets in excess of pounds 10m to back clients' investments of more than pounds 4m.

Mr Lloyd-Wright said SIB's actions in the UK courts were hampering his ability to serve his clients. 'It is my intention to continue to meet my obligations and I am finding ways I can do that,' he said. 'I have never let any of my clients down.'

One of Mr Lloyd-Wright's clients, who is based in Cyprus, has written to SIB complaining that LW Investment Corporation, his firm, had been prevented from paying out on her investment because of an injunction freezing the company's assets, granted in the High Court in London last month.

SIB has looked into her investment, however, and believes her agreement was with a Guernsey-based Lloyd-Wright company. Companies connected with Mr Lloyd-Wright were struck off the island's register of companies last year for failing to file annual returns.

SIB believes that since its injunction freezes only LWI assets and personal assets of Mr Lloyd-Wright it should not have affected investments in the Guernsey company. Mr Lloyd-Wright claims he transferred assets from his Guernsey operation to LWI.

SIB expects to return to court next Tuesday to renew its injunction. The injunction prevented Mr Lloyd-Wright from conducting unauthorised investment business in the UK, and making allegedly unsolicited calls and misleading statements.

SIB is unsure how much of the pounds 4m taken into Mr Lloyd-Wright's bonds has come from UK residents and how much from Britons and others living abroad. Since publicising the last injunction the regulator has been contacted by a number of investors who have refused to reveal their identities.

Mr Lloyd-Wright told the Independent that he never intended to do business in the UK.

Mr Lloyd-Wright once ran a firm in the UK that later came under the control of a woman he lived with for a time. She was jailed for two years in 1989 after being convicted of fraud and theft in connection with the business. The court was told that she had been influenced by Mr Lloyd-Wright although he said he had acted responsibly in his dealings with the business.