News & Events

Investment Fraud

Michael Bowes QC successful in Harlequin overseas investment fraud prosecution

Michael Bowes QC led the SFO team in its successful prosecution of David Ames, Chairman of Harlequin, who defrauded investors of £226 million in relation to overseas property investments. On 3 August 2022, David Ames was found guilty of two counts of fraud by abuse of position. An SFO (Serious Fraud Office) investigation uncovered how Ames deceived over 8,000 UK investors in the Harlequin Group, a hotel, and resorts development venture. Victims were led to believe they had a secure investment in property whereas, in reality, Harlequin Group was never operating as promised. The business model relied upon investors paying a 30 percent deposit to purchase an unbuilt villa or hotel room, half of which went toward fees for Harlequin…

Business Crime, News 5 Aug, 2022

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