Wickford Man Facing Fraud Charges

Westminster Magistrates Court

The chairman of a luxury property group has been accused of fraud by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

David Ames, chairman of the Harlequin Group of companies, was charged with three counts of fraud by abuse of position on Friday.

The alleged activity occurred between January 2010 and June 2015, according to the fraud body.

The 65-year-old from Wickford, has been requisitioned to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on March 22.

The SFO and Essex Police announced they were investigating the group of companies in March 2013. This investigation continues.

The Group's activities include the marketing, sale and construction of luxury off-plan property developments in the Caribbean and other resort locations.

Certain Harlequin investors who took advice from an Independent Financial Advisor firm which is no longer trading may be entitled to compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the SFO added.