Jim Armitage, 21 May 2021
Bosses at the collapsed investment firm London Capital & Finance invested £70 million of bondholders’ money with a hotel property firm where two senior players now have fraud convictions.
Prime Resort Development was one of the biggest recipients of LCF loans, but administrators to the bust lender say its assets in Cornwall, Cape Verde and the Dominican Republic, are only worth up to £15 million. One of Prime’s main players, Paul Seakens, was convicted last week over a carbon credit “boiler room” scheme that defrauded vulnerable investors out of £36 million. He is due to be sentenced on 28 May.
The other, Terrence Mitchell, was sentenced in December 2018 to two years’ jail for fraud and six months for “carrying on regulated activities” at collapsed savings scheme Anglo Wealth.
His sentences were suspended for two years and he was banned from serving as a director for six years. Companies House filings show LCF agreeing a loan to Prime dated 31 October 2018, by which time Seakens had already been disqualified from acting as a director by a court order.
At the time of the ban, he was at Enviro Associates, the carbon credit firm over which he was convicted last week. Mitchell is believed to have been key to raising funds for Prime Resort Developments, while Seakens worked as its book-keeper.
The Crown Prosecution Service said Seakens, 60, was found guilty last week on charges of running Enviro for fraudulent purposes as part of a marketing scheme that preyed on “vulnerable victims”.