The number of clients preparing claims against failed investment firm InvestUS has more than doubled in the past month, according to a claims management company working on the case.
Solicitors Anthony Philip James & Co is now handing claims on behalf of 201 clients, it says, after InvestUS used pension money to buy up repurchased property in cities including Detroit, Florida and Chicago in the wake of the financial crisis, promising 15 per cent returns once they were renovated and sold on.
APJ claims that an unregulated Avacade worked with advice firm Shah Wealth Management to facilitate the investment faster by delivering one-off suitability reports.
The Solihull-based IFA has now been liquidated, so claims companies such as APJ can go to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to try and reclaim client money.
The FSCS can only pay out on claims over regulated advice, and not the actions of introducers or providers not authorised by the FCA.
APJ solicitor Glyn Taylor says: “Many of the clients who have now come to us also invested into other schemes as part of the Sipp schemes. These schemes have also failed and, as there wasn’t an IFA involved, clients can’t seek compensation from the FSCS. To ensure clients get full compensation for all their losses we will also be litigating against their Sipp providers to secure compensation for these additional investments.”
APJ is also targeting Sipp providers Liberty Sipp and Guinness Mahon with legal action.