Investors still searching for investment scheme answers
By Declan Magee
Donegal investors who fear they have lost large sums of money in an investment scheme which could be worth at least €10m are still looking for information on getting their money back.
The investment scheme is understood to involve over 200 investors from Donegal and other counties in the North West.
One source close to the investigation has confirmed that one bank account linked to the scheme has been emptied and the chances of investors ever seeing their money again are slim.
The amount of money lost in the investment scheme is estimated at between €10m and €20m.
The UK's financial Services Authority says it cannot comment on whether or it is probing the scheme which involved investors on both sides of the border.
The first sign that there may be an irregularity with the scheme emerged in November when garda raided offices in Donegal seizing files and computers.
Garda explained that the investigation involves the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and other police forces across Europe and have confirmed that no arrests have been raid.
A spokesman for the Financial Services Authority, the UK's financial watchdog, told the Donegal Democrat yesterday that the body does not comment on investigations until they are concluded.
Six figure sums
Many investors have invested six-figure sums in the scheme hoping for a quick return. Investors involved are based all around Donegal.
Investors turned up a meeting with agents at a Letterkenny hotel last week looking for information on their investment. They were assured they would get their money back, but some fear a few of the investors have had money returned while the rest have been left high and dry.
The investment scheme was controlled by a foreign national based in the county who used agents to sell investments. Investors were promised huge returns for investing in liquidated luxury goods and properties. Word of the scheme was spread around by word of mouth with many of the investors acting on the recommendations of friends or trusted business associates.
The business man behind the scheme has not been seen at his Donegal home for weeks. It believed he has fled the county, possibly to Eastern Europe.