By Tom Winnifrith, The Sheriff of AIM | Friday 28 August 2020
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
As things stand, Versarien (VRS) has drawn down the first 40% of a £5 million low interest loan from taxpayer-funded Innovate UK despite demonstrably being ineligible for what is the body’s biggest ever loan - indeed admitting in its own annual report that it breaches the eligibility criteria. That is a scandal. But I can now show why this scandal is far worse and suggests that Innovate UK hands out cash to favoured companies on an utterly indiscriminate and un-monitored manner which no assessment of whether its funding delivers any return or benefits for taxpayers. What follows is shocking. A co-conspirator has raised the issue of the illegitimate loan with Innovate UK and has this response from a Matthew Oswin:
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