Two directors have been banned after running an ‘ethical water’ investment scam which saw investors part with more than £800,000, which for some elderly investors represented “a large chunk” of their life savings.
Michael Lee Livesey and Ross Perry, both 41 and from Basildon, Essex, have each been disqualified for 11 years.
They were directors of Global Water Group, which claimed to sell ethically-based investment bonds to support water projects globally.
According to the Insolvency Service the company advertised its bonds online, promising investors it was “a high level network of investors in, and advisers on, issues related to water supply whose members include heads of state, leaders in the global water industry, leading universities and academic institutions, wealth management firms, philanthropists, pension funds and high net worth investors”.
Between 2017 and 2020, the company secured at least £800,000 from investors. “For some investors, this represented a significant proportion of their life savings”, the Insolvency Service said.
In October 2019, Perry took over as director from Livesey, putting the business into liquidation in May 2020.
It was then that the liquidator found it couldn’t identify “a single genuine investment”, according to the Insolvency Service.
Upon further investigation, it emerged a £100,000 payment had been made from the company’s account to Perry’s personal bank account.
A further £200,000 had been withdrawn from the company…