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SFO arrests fifth man over London Capital & Finance collapse

Jail bankerThe boss of the online marketing company that made millions from advertising unregulated investment products of collapsed London Capital and Finance has been arrested by the Serious Fraud Office.

The SFO arrested and questioned the founder of Brighton-based digital marketing company Surge Financial Paul Careless on Wednesday.

Careless was then released on bail and has not been charged pending further investigation.

In a statement a Surge spokesman said: “Paul Careless has not been charged and he is not on bail.

“Surge was a third party supplier of services used in relation to raising investment for LC&F. It did not handle client money and had no involvement in the deployment of funds to borrowing companies.”

An SFO spokesman also said in a statement: “On 19 June 2019, search warrants were executed at several properties in the Home Counties.

“One individual was arrested and released pending further investigation. The operation was conducted with the assistance of the National Crime Agency.”

Surge was contracted by the LC&F to raise capital from investors. It raised £237m from investors on behalf of LC&F and received 25 per cent commission, having spent around £26m on the advertising, according to reports. It spent 90 per cent of the budget on advertising via Google.

SFO and the FCA arrested four people in relation to the LC&F collapse in March.

Collapsed mini-bond investor money traced to four men

LC&F fell into default in January, a month after the FCA issued it with an order to take down promotional material of the bonds, ruling they were “misleading, not fair and unclear”.

The Evening Standard first reported the arrest.

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