The liquidators of a huge web of investment companies set up by a South African family say there’s a “taint of illegality” about the way the business was run.
PWC was appointed after the Financial Supervision Commission asked the Manx Courts to close down the Louis Group’s operations here.
Now, a report from PWC’s Gordon Wilson and Michael Simpson says the 700 investors left out of pocket are likely to receive just 16p from every pound they’re owed.
They say they’ve sold more than 40 properties belonging to the group, raising more than £50 million – but the majority of that will go to banks rather than investors.
In their report, the two liquidators say they think the companies were running unlicensed operations in defiance of the FSC.
In a huge document running to more than 130 pages, they add there’s evidence of questionable transactions, failings in corporate governance, conflicts of interest, and what they call a culture of control, fear and intimidation at the group’s highest levels.
They also claim to have found evidence of millions of pounds lent to the group’s head Alan Louis, which remains unpaid and undocumented.
The two men say it’s now for the FSC to take any necessary action – on its website, the commission says it’s studying the report with an eye to formal regulatory action.