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SFO charges David Ames of the Harlequin Group

17 February, 2017 | News Releases

The SFO has today charged David Ames, chairman of the Harlequin Group of companies, with three counts of Fraud by Abuse of Position, contrary to section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006.

The alleged activity occurred between January 2010 and June 2015.

David Ames, 65, from Wickford, Essex, has been requisitioned to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 22 March 2017.

The SFO, together with Essex Police, announced it was investigating the Harlequin Group of companies on 5 March 2013. This investigation continues.

Harlequin investors who invested via a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) following advice from an Independent Financial Advisor firm which is no longer trading, may be entitled to compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (“FSCS”). Further details can be found on FSCS’s website.

Further updates will be provided via the Harlequin case page.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The business activity of the Harlequin Group includes the marketing, sale and construction of luxury off-plan property developments in the Caribbean and other resort locations.
  2. The SFO would like to thank investors who completed a questionnaire. The online questionnaire is no longer available, however, investors who made investments during the period of January 2010 to June 2015 can register their details with the SFO at hlminvestors@sfo.gsi.gov.uk. If you have any concerns about communicating via email please write to the following address:

    The Witness / Victim Care Officer (HLM01)

    Serious Fraud Office

    2-4 Cockspur Street

    London

    SW1Y 5BS

  3. The SFO cannot comment on individual cases nor respond to every enquiry but investors may wish to contact their financial advisors and/or seek independent legal advice if they are concerned about their investment.
  4. The strict liability rule in the Contempt of Court Act 1981 applies.

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