The island’s financial watchdog has confirmed it has begun civil and regulatory proceedings in connection with the collapse of the Louis Group.
Louis Group entities in the island were wound up by the High Court last year after a fund promoted as ‘low risk’ was suspended, unable to pay its multimillion-pound debts.
The liquidators’ investigation concluded there is a ‘taint of illegality’ across the business carried out by the group in the Isle of Man. There was a complex web of 120 separate Louis Group companies operating here.
Liquidators estimate there were more than 700 different investors who invested a total of about £25m in the Louis Group Structured Fund and around £35m across various property syndicates.
Around a quarter of these investors are from the Isle of Man, the remainder mainly being from South Africa and the UK. The largest investor put in around £5m, but the vast majority invested between £10,000 and £30,000.
Many were attracted by the Louis family’s self-projected religious values and representations of low risk investment.
Financial Supervision Commission chief executive John Aspden said: ‘I can confirm the Commission has formally commenced civil and regulatory proceedings in relation to certain matters arising from the Louis group event.
‘I can say nothing more at the present time.’