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Duo behind failed £92m SIPP introducer made bankrupt

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Duo behind failed £92m SIPP introducer made bankrupt

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The FCA has secured a bankruptcy order against father and son directors of a collapsed SIPP introducer who failed to pay back £10.7m in restitution to clients.

Father and son Craig and Lee Lummis, aged 64 and 39 respectively, offered so-called ‘free pension reviews’ to customers.

More than 2,000 people who undertook a review were encouraged to transfer nearly £92m into high risk SIPP-connected investments, many of them losing much of their money.

The pair’s firm, Avacade, was unregulated.

In August 2020, following a trial, the High Court ordered illegal pension introducer Avacade, Alexandra Associates and their directors to pay £10,715,000 in restitution to consumers.

Following a High Court order, the Court of Appeal upheld findings of breaches against Alexandra Associates (UK) Limited trading as Avacade Future Solutions and Craig and Lee Lummis, in 2021.

The defendants failed to satisfy the restitution order, the FCA said, and, as a result, on 21 November 2023, the FCA secured bankruptcy orders against Lee and Craig Lummis. The Official Receiver (or a Trustee in Bankruptcy) will investigate the financial affairs of the two bankrupts and administer their estates.

A third director of Avacade, Raymond Fox, was previously made bankrupt on in August 2020.

The FCA secured a winding up order against Alexandra Associates (UK) Limited on 22 February 2022 and the company was subsequently dissolved on 10 April 2023.

The duo were were banned as directors in 2021 after repaying themselves over £1.3m ahead of creditors.

More than 2,000 investors were persuaded to transfer nearly £92m from their pensions into the SIPPs. From these investments Avacade and another company, Alexandra Associates, earned commissions in the region of £10.8m. Many of the underlying investments have failed or are in liquidation.

Avacade Limited and connected parties engaged in arranging and promoting investments without FCA authorisation and made “false and misleading” statements to investors which induced them to transfer their pensions into SIPPs and then into alternative investments such as HotPods (office space for rent), tree plantations and Brazilian property developments.

One of the failed SIPP schemes the pair were involved with offered investments in Costa Rican forestry plantations.

Craig Lummis and his son Lee were each given directorship disqualifications in 2021. At the time the court heard that their firm, Avacade Limited, was incorporated in January 2010 and traded as Avacade Investment Options. The company provided unregulated investment brokering services, including ‘free’ pension reviews. 

Avacade went into liquidation in November 2015, sparking an investigation by the Insolvency Service.




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