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Four men charged in £23m SFO biofuels investigation

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Four men connected to collapsed biofuels firm Sustainable AgroEnergy have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud worth an estimated £23m.

The men, all British nationals, have been charged in connection with a Serious Fraud Office investigation into the promotion of biofuel investments to UK investors, mostly through Sipps.

The men have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to furnish false information.

They are former Sustainable AgroEnergy director and chief commercial officer Gary West, former Sustainable AgroEnergy chief executive James Whale, former Sustainable AgroEnergy financial controller Fung Fong Wong, and Stuart Stone, an IFA associated with the company.

West, Stone and Wong have also been charged with offences under the Bribery Act 2010, the first time charges have been brought under the act by the SFO.

In March 2012, Money Marketing reported Southwark Crown Court had issued a freezing order on assets held by Sustainable Growth Group and its subsidiaries Sustainable AgroEnergy and Sustainable Wealth Investments after a request from the SFO. The Sustainable Growth Group of companies was placed in administration in March 2012.

Around 1,500 people are thought to have invested in the firms, which invested in Jatropha tree plantations in South-east Asia.

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  1. DENNIS BRATHWAITE 8th January 2014 at 7:38 am

    i am one of those who waas persuaded by my financial advisor to transfer my pension into this fund.tax benefits, sustainable fuel ,good for the environment etc etc . much better return than a standard pension .. Sounded very impressive at first. I Now wish i had never ever met my f/a he told me he had thoroughly checked it out and it couldnt fail. from the start it was riddled with excessive setting up fees and no doubt many received fat commisions including him. I am disgusted that these kind of scandals can still go on. My life savings all but gone. i hope they lock up these greddy cheating rogues

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