Harlequin Group boss guilty of fraud after investors lose £400m

Serious Fraud Office win

Jenna Brown
clock • 3 min read

David Ames, the chairman of failed Caribbean property investment scheme Harlequin, has been found guilty of two counts of fraud after investors lost almost £400m in total.

The SFO said it had secured the conviction of Ames, 70, at Southwark Crown Court. Ames, who offered no evidence in his defence, was convicted of two counts of fraud by abuse of power. The SFO said the Harlequin scheme had actually been a multi-million-pound fraud involving celebrity-endorsed luxury resorts in the Caribbean. It said Ames deceived more than 8,000 UK investors in the Harlequin Group, a hotel and resorts development venture. Victims were led to believe they had a secure investment in property whereas, in reality, Harlequin Group was never operating as promised, said the S...

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