Court terminates online brokerage after misleading investors

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Scothop Limited was liquidated in the public interest in the High Court of Business and Property Justice on 21 June 2022 before ICC Judge Jones. The legal administrator was appointed liquidator of the company.

The court heard that Scothop Limited, more commonly known as Genesis11, had set up as a regulated online broker, with the ability to trade in different products.

The Insolvency Service, however, received complaints about the company’s practices and launched confidential inquiries into the activities of Scothop Limited before uncovering significant losses to investors.

Investigators found that clients were encouraged to invest with the online broker and often saw the value of their investments increase, prompting clients to invest more.

When investors attempted to withdraw their funds, they were either charged substantial fees or the value of their investments was significantly reduced. Scothop Limited would then cease all contact with investors if they continued to withdraw funds or failed to pay the fee.

Further investigations revealed that Scothop Limited claimed to be holding funds in separate third party accounts. But the funds were held in accounts in the names of people who were not registered as directors of the company.

The Financial Regulator had no knowledge of Scothop Limited and throughout the investigation and legal proceedings, persons connected with or controlling the affairs and management of the company did not communicate with the Insolvency Service.

Investigators have received information from at least 7 investors who suffered combined losses of at least £263,000, including one investor who lost almost £100,000.

At the winding-up hearing, Judge Jones agreed that the company traded without commercial probity and obtained funds on a false and misleading basis.

The judge also noted that Scothop Limited had acted with a lack of transparency and that there were no proper records to confirm that investors’ funds had been used for the proper purpose or to establish what was happened to the funds received.

Within the framework of his attributions, the Officer-receiver-liquidator will endeavor to recover and realize the assets of the company in order to make restitutions to the creditors.

Edna Okhiria, Chief Insolvency Service Investigator, said:

Our investigations have identified that Scothop Limited misled investors, illegitimately obtaining thousands of pounds while falsely claiming to be regulated.

Fortunately, the court recognized the seriousness of the company’s actions and liquidated Scothop Limited before other investors lost their money. We hope this result will serve as a warning to other rogue investment firms that we have the powers to put a stop to unscrupulous misconduct.

Notes to Editors

All inquiries regarding company business should be addressed to the Collector at the Public Interest Unit: 16th Floor, 1 Westfield Avenue, Stratford, London, E20 1HZ; Email: piu.or@insolvency.gov.uk

Scothop Limited (company number 11748109), was incorporated on 3 January 2019. Its registered office is as a serviced office provider at 27 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsberry, London, WC1N 3AX

The appointed director of Scothop Limited at the time of its dissolution was Ilie Adascalitei, sole director registered since 22 January 2019.

A petition to reinstate and wind up the Company was presented by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 21 June 2022 to the High Court of Justice, Business and Property Courts in England and in Wales (CR 2022-001042), under the provisions of Section 124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 following confidential inquiries by Company Investigations under Section 447 of the Act Companies Act 1985, as amended.

Companies Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to carry out confidential inquiries into the activities of direct limited liability companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) . More information on live company surveys can be found here.

More information about the work of the insolvency service and how to file a complaint for financial misconduct.

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