Unregulated foreign exchange company wound up in court

Financial Services | Legal | South East

Venice Investment Group was wound up on Tuesday 10 September by Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Mullen at the High Court in London. The Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator.

In considering the petition to wind up the company, the court heard that Venice Investment Group was incorporated in May 2016 and advertised itself as a UK-based investment firm, providing an online platform for investors to trade in the currency market. It appears the company targeted Italian investors.

Following complaints, the Insolvency Service conducted confidential investigations into the activities of Venice Investment Group in November 2018 and found several instances of misconduct.

Venice Investment Group marketed itself to investors as an authorised company. However, it wasn’t regulated by the FCA for activities in the UK or the Stock Exchange Commission in Italy.

The investment company filed false accounts with Companies House, claiming to be dormant during a period when at least €65,000 in trades were made. The company also failed to produce its books for investigators, so the total value of investments through the platform remains unknown.

And the court heard that the company did not co-operate with investigators, failing to acknowledge any attempts to reach it. While the correspondence address of the director was the company’s registered office, all mail sent was forwarded to an address in Croatia. The company’s contact telephone number was an invalid Slovenian number and its email address was unavailable.

Five investors were successfully traced after they had invested more than €135,000 between them.

David Hill, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Venice Investment Group used misleading advertising to lure investors, and targeted international clients to mislead regulators both in London and Italy. The company also failed to co-operate when Insolvency Service investigators began their proceedings. Following this winding-up order, the Official Receiver will look into the company’s affairs, including the conduct of the company’s director.”

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