SFO drops Keydata investigation

The Serious Fraud Office has dropped its investigation into Keydata because of a lack of evidence.

The SFO launched its investigation in July 2009 but now says it does not have enough evidence to secure a prosecution over more than £100m worth of assets which disappeared from Keydata products invested in Luxembourg based vehicle SLS Capital.

A statement on the SFO’s website says: “After extensive consideration we concluded that we had insufficient evidence to secure a prosecution in this case.”

Keydata founder Stewart Ford calls the decision a vindication adding it was the “catastrophic intervention” from the FSA which saw the firm go into administration which caused the problems.

The FSA forced the firm into administration after it sold productsas having Isa status which did, leaving the firm with a multi-million pound tax bill.

He says: “The decision is not surprising and it vindicates what I have been saying from the outset. We have no doubt that but for the catastrophic FSA intervention, all Keydata investors in Lifemark and SLS products would have received their promised returns of income and capital.”

The statement adds that the organisation will now focus on trying to trace assets invested with Luxembourg bases company SLS Capital.

Over £100m had been invested with SLS Capital SA which failed to pay income and fees due to Keydata. Since then it has been discovered SLS’s assets were “misappropriated”, the firm has been wound up and a liquidator appointed in Luxembourg.