Michael Andrew Thomson, also known as ‘Andy Thomson’, was CEO of London Capital & Finance when it collapsed in 2019.
The Eridge Road based minibond firm went bust in January of that year after the city watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), froze its bank accounts because of its marketing practices.
Former Chief Executive Thomson, who lives in a converted barn in East Sussex, has admitted funnelling nearly £100,000 of restrained money frozen by the courts through his wife’s bank account.
The money had been earmarked to repay some of the 11,500 investors who lost money through the collapse of LCF.
Investors who lost money were eventually compensated using taxpayer’s cash as the finance industry’s compensation scheme did not cover unregulated minibonds.
The 49-year-old appeared in court last Thursday (July 28) charged with breaking the restraint order on his assets that had been in place since March 14, 2019.
He admitted contempt of court and spending £95,000 of restrained funds that potentially could have been used as compensation for victims but claimed it taking the money had been ‘unintentional’.
But according to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the breaches were ‘deliberate’ and he had used his wife’s bank account to funnel the funds for his use.
The SFO said the money went on a series of extravagant purchases including a £5,000 holiday in Italy, £3,000 spent at clothing shop Next, £4,000 on horse saddles, £4,000 on a hot tub and further money on hotels and a horsebox conversion.
Thomson has been warned that he now faces jail unless he can provide a good reason why he spent the money.
Her Honour Judge Taylor told him last week: “It is very much in your interests to provide the court with more information if you wish the court to consider a non-custodial outcome to this case”.
A hearing on Wednesday, September 6 will determine his sentence for contempt of court.
A spokesperson for the SFO said: “Where assets are restrained for potential compensation and confiscation, the SFO will not hesitate to take action against those who have misused them.”