Sunday, September 19, 2021

Venture capital Co scammed out of £3m

A company director who led a lavish lifestyle with venture capital money rather than investing it into the business has been jailed.

Alan Chandler, 46, of energy company Soleil Holdings Ltd, used a forged document to persuade a venture capital company to invest £3m in his green energy company and falsely claimed that he was a multi-millionaire.

Having secured the money for his business, which converted straw into electricity, he then went on to use the capital for his own purposes enjoying an extravagant lifestyle buying lavish cars, and a rented farmhouse near Stamford and enjoying exotic vacations, leaving the company to flounder.

The Courts heard how Chandler gained the confidence of  Fredrik Werner and Agne Svensson, who operated a Monaco-based venture capital company called Marine Life, by weaving a web of lies.

These included claiming: he was the son of a High Court Judge, had numerous properties across the UK and Europe,and that he had received 150,000 shares worth £5 million after departing his previous company. Later it transpired that these documents had been forged too, and the shares had been worth just £56,000.

Having attained the investment Chandler went on to splurge the money funding his extravagant lifestyle and attempted to cover his tracks by repeatedly claiming that

Consequently, the two investors lost the £3m after the company collapsed.

Chandler, who was previously known as Mark Lamb, admitted to three charges of fraud and was sentenced to seven years imprisonment .

Recorder Paul Mann QC, sentencing, told Chandler: “If the investors had known the truth, they would have cut their losses.

“As it was they became sucked into making more payments as a result of your assurances.

“They have lost every penny they invested with you. You just fed them lies.

“You created a fictional lifestyle.

“In every sense of the word you have lived your life as a professional conman.

“Your desire to get rich quick is one of the reasons why the business failed.”

Jonathon Dee, prosecuting, said that Chandler made a series of false claims to win the investment and explained how Mr Werner and Mr Svensson conducted due diligence but “nothing cropped up.”

In an attempt to cover his tracks, when the investors grew restless Chandler claimed he couldn’t provide them with up to date financial information due to a fire, and claimed his firm was due an insurance payout of £750,000.

Dee went on to explain that Chandler eventually came clean after insurers paid out only a fraction of this amount , paying a mere  £23,000 for the fire.

Mr Dee said: “He finally realised that the business had failed.

“There was a meeting where Mr Werner and Mr Svensson learned the truth. What they learned greatly shocked them.”

Greg Johnson, Chandler’s defence lawyer, said: “This was a company that was viable. It could have succeeded. He was trying to make the company succeed.”


A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 pandemic having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £33.60 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.

Latest news

Related news

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.