The administrator appointed by the Serious Fraud Office to wind up a number of “sustainable” investment companies has warned an upcoming legal challenge will erode the value of eventual returns to Sipp investors.
In March, Money Marketing reported 1,500 people, mostly Sipp investors, could face losses of over £30m after Southwark Crown Court issued a freezing order on assets held by Sustainable Agroenergy Plc, Sustainable Wealth Investments (UK) Limited and Sustainable Growth Group (UK) Limited following a request from the SFO.
Earlier this month, Sustainable Growth Group chairman Gregg Fryett issued a statement to investors saying he had filed court papers to Southwark Crown Court challenging the SFO freezing order and the appointment of Chantrey Vellacott as administrator.
Fryett said: “Court papers have been filed to have all of the court orders overturned as implemented on the 22 February and actioned on the 23 February including the appointment of the management receiver and the restraint orders.
“It remains my opinion that these orders were obtained through dubious disclosure and incomplete process which has materially affected the group’s value and those of the clients.”
Chantrey Vellacott administrator Adrian Hyde says he must respond to the challenge by the end of this week.
He says: “Gregg Fryett has issued an application to the court and provided a witness statement. I have until this Friday to file my evidence and we are due before the judge on 12 September.
“The costs of this legal challenge will come from whatever money is available from the investments. That is the most distressing part about this but there is nothing I can do. I have got to defend myself.”
The SFO declined to comment.