One of the former directors of a marketing company which ran an unauthorised share scheme has overturned an earlier decision ordering her to pay back the victims.
Karen Ferreira, alongside Lee Skinner, ran Our Price Records, a marketing business promoting other companies’ products through its website for a 50% commission.
The firm raised £3.6m ($4.4m, €4.1m) from 259 investors, with individual contributions ranging between £1,200 and £252,000.
The products were promoted via unauthorised marketing agents – Tyrone Miller, Clive Mongelard and a company called Venor Associates Ltd, operating under the name Gemini.
The FCA said that the investments were secured under false pretences and breached financial regulations.
In May 2020, the UK high court ordered Our Price Records to refund the £3.6m taken from the victims, but Ferreira appealed.
The court of appeal has sided with her, meaning she will not need to pay the investors back.
The FCA said on 25 March 2022: “During our investigation, Our Price Records was placed into administration. The FCA successfully took action against four individuals, including Ms Ferreira, obtaining restitution orders against them. Ms Ferreira appealed the decision, arguing she was not ‘knowingly concerned’ in Our Price Records’ contravention of rules that required Our Price Records’ financial promotion to be approved by an FCA authorised person.
“The court of appeal agreed with her, holding that her belief that the financial promotion had been approved by a firm of chartered accountants meant she did not have the knowledge required to have been involved in Our Price Records’ breach. As a result of the judgment, Ms Ferreira no longer has to pay restitution in this matter. The findings against the remaining three individuals, Mr Lee Skinner, Mr Tyrone Miller and Mr Clive Mongelard, are not affected by this ruling.
“Since the original decision by the high court, they have all been made bankrupt. The Official Receiver has investigated their financial affairs. It is unlikely any monies will be recovered from these individuals.”
In December 2020, Skinner and Ferreira were banned by the Insolvency Service for 10 and seven years, respectively.