A former accountant to troubled overseas property company Harlequin has apologised for setting up an anonymous website labelling it a Ponzi scheme fraud.
Harlequin launched a libel claim against Jeremy Newman, a former Wilkins Kennedy senior accountant, Martin MacDonald, a partner at Wilkins Kennedy and the firm itself.
The Ames family, which controls Harlequin, have now reached an out of court settlement with their former accountants Wilkins Kennedy.
A joint statement from all parties said: "The terms of the settlement are confidential, but the offending website has been closed down and will not be reopened. "
"Mr Newman has admitted he set up and operated the (Harlecon) website and regrets his actions."
Wilkins Kennedy and MacDonald deny any involvement.
In a separate matter, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said it, together with Essex Police, is continuing to investigate complaints into Harlequin.
The SFO first began looking into Harlequin - into which investors have poured about £400m - in March.
It asked investors to complete an online questionnaire detailing when the off-plan properties they had purchased through Harlequin were due to be completed, and, if the target date has elapsed, the reason given.
Crucially for advisers, the SFO also wanted to know who had introduced the investors to Harlequin, whether it was a sales agent, financial adviser, or someone else.
In the months since the SFO launched its investigation, investors have begun pursuing their advisers over recommendations to invest in Harlequin, which has faced liquidity problems since a regulatory warning about it at the start of the year that has left investors fearful of losing all their money.
Harlequin can be saved, according to a lawyer close to the situation, but investors will have to sign away their right to pursue the company for losses - and wait between three and five years to see any returns,
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