Liam Collins has signed a Bankruptcy Restriction Undertaking (BRU) for the maximum period less one year, that is, for 14 years. He has admitted the Official Receiver's findings of misconduct as detailed in the following extract:
"Between 5 November 2010 and 29 April 2011, Liam James Collins (“Mr Collins”) continued to accept investments from members of the public by way of promissory notes totalling £187,500 in contravention of the Financial Services Marketing Act 2000 (FSMA) and despite being explicitly requested to cease doing so by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Mr Collins also failed to notify existing investors of their statutory rights under the FSMA as required by the FSA on 26 October 2010.
"Between January 2010 and April 2011, whilst trading in partnership with David Bone as property investment, lettings and renovation, although not personally responsible for financial transactions, Mr Collins allowed the misappropriation of investor monies totalling at least £874,000. In particular:
"At January 2010, the Collins and Bone partnership (“C&B”) had existing liabilities under promissory notes totalling £3,047,845, given to investors in a group of companies that had gone into liquidation on 18 December 2009, and of which David Bone and Mr Collins were directors.
"From January 2010, Mr Collins made misleading representations to members of the public to induce further investments in C&B.
"Between January 2010 and April 2011 further investments totalling at least £874,000 by way of Promissory Note were accepted by C&B. Mr Collins was indirectly involved in several Joint Venture Agreements and he believed that the future revenue streams of those agreements had the potential to repay investors. As C&B were not formally party to those agreements C&B investors had no legal entitlement to any potential funds arising from, or legal recourse against the third parties contracted to, those Joint Venture Agreements.
"Between January 2010 and April 2011 C&B did not undertake any business activity relating to that which the investors would have reasonably expected their investments to have been applied given the representations of C&B.
"Between January 2010 and September 2011, in providing explanations for the delay in payments properly due to investors from C&B under the terms of Promissory Notes issued, Mr Collins provided inaccurate information concerning the valuation of assets held by the partnership, the estimate of expected income receipts from third party ventures and the likelihood that investors would receive payments due in the future."
As far as we know, no-one is in possession of the facts relating to what exactly happened to the £3 million plus which the partners took from CBS investors. They certainly misused the £1 million approx. which they had extracted by means of false promises from C&B investors in 2010. We are not aware of their having shown any sign of remorse, but we would point out that the way is always open for them to start seriously co-operating with the investigation, regardless of the embarrassment this would entail for them. The partners need to 'come clean' before being able to make sincere efforts to 'go straight' in future.
It seems that Liam Collins may have misled his family and close associates with business fantasies that took little account of legality, but that does not absolve those people of complicity.