By Tom Winnifrith | Wednesday 10 January 2018
In the UK the former Dragon's Den star who is a fully paid up member of the great and the good, Julie "Praise be the Lord" Meyer MBE stands accused of fraud and theft as we revealed HERE. - this is a charge she vigorously denies see HERE The FCA has now said that it is looking in to her and her flagship company Ariadne is in administration. But what of her offshore bolt hole in Malta where she runs five companies and is, pro tem, regulated to run her fund?
We already know that the Maltese regulator the MFSA is looking into a number of issues including potential breaches of capital adequacy limits. Given the way that Julie's British enterprises - even those not yet in administration - seem to be strapped for cash, one can only imagine what might be happening. The MFSA is also looking into certain personnel issues. In the autumn two directors in her MFSA-licensed company resigned, putting her in breach of regulations as the sole remaining director
And it appears that, as in the UK, a number of employees have not been p;aid. At least two have threatened legal action about unpaid wages and have reported Meyer's companies to local regulators. For in Malta not paying wages is not a civil offence as in the UK but a criminal one and so Praise Be the Lord's enterprises could well be in the dock.
And it gets worse still. I have now had it confirmed that a number of local contractors in Malta were instructed to invoice Ariadne Capital in London for their work. This appears to have been endemic. Costs were invoiced to the London operation but no revenues were booked in London. If I were the administrator of Ariadne Capital in London I would thus be seeking monies from Ms Meyer's Maltese operations, not, I suspect, that they have any.
Indeed Ms Meyer's attitude to Malta seems to have soured. According to the Times of Malta:
The American entrepreneur who called herself part of ‘Team Malta’ a few weeks ago has decided not to domicile her fund here, saying that Malta was an “extremely difficult jurisdiction”.
Julie Meyer told investors last June that her UK-based fund would be redomiciled to Malta as a ‘notified alternative investment fund’. The fund was to be administered by Alter Domus. However, in the fund report for 2017 issued a few days ago, she said this would not be achieved, though planned by year’s end.
Ms Meyer told her investors in a regular update report: “We have found Malta to be an exceedingly difficult jurisdiction in which to work.".
Her stand on Malta is a complete U-turn from the enthusiasm she expressed to potential investors, saying in an e-mail in September 2016 that the regulatory side of the Malta Financial Services Authority was “simpler and straightforward”, boasting of her close contacts: “The chairman of the MFSA is in very regular contact with me, tells everyone that it is seriously good news that Ariadne has come to Malta, hosted a dinner for me with my investors in early September where he positioned himself as an innovator in financial services and impressed everyone.”
The chairman of the MFSA is in very regular contact with me ... hosted a dinner for me with my investors in early September However, the chairman, Joe Bannister, distanced himself from this claim when contacted and asked whether this was a conflict of interest, denying that the dinner was in her honour: “There was a working dinner for a number of representatives of foreign institutions to discuss financial regulation in Malta and the progress achieved so far
What odds will you give me on the number of Maltese firms run by Julie Meyer being closer to 0 than 5 within a few months?
PS How do you make a Maltese Cross? Dunno, ask Julie Meyer she's the expert. Boom Boom.
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