Financial Conduct Authority
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Four individuals charged over suspected water scam

The FCA alleges that the individuals ran an unauthorised investment scheme, which defrauded investors out of £3.9 million.

The FCA has charged Bruce Rowan, David Simmons, Robert Sweeney and Justin Russell with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. Robert Sweeney and David Simmons are also charged with money laundering.

The 4 individuals allegedly ran an unauthorised investment scheme, which defrauded investors out of £3.9 million.

The FCA alleges that between 1 May 2015 and 23 July 2019, the defendants conspired to defraud via 2 companies, Hanover Merchant Capital UK Ltd and Liberty House Capital Ltd, by misleading UK investors that their money would fund water extraction and bottled water production, and about the returns they could expect.

The defendants will appear before the Westminster Magistrates' Court on 3 April 2024.

Notes to editors

  1. Bruce Rowan's date of birth is 18 April 1959, David Simmons' date of birth is 21 April 1972, Robert Sweeney's date of birth is 14 March 1972 and Justin Russell’s date of birth is 3 August 1970.
  2. The alleged misleading representations include:  
    1. Hanover Merchant Capital UK Limited and Liberty House Capital Ltd were well-established investment companies with permanent London-based offices, and part of an international development group, and/or; 
    2. Capital raised from investors would be paid towards the costs of, or otherwise invested in, a genuine water extraction and bottled water production and/or; 
    3. Capital raised from investors would be insured by a valid form of insurance, and/or;
    4. Investors would receive regular annuities and returns generated by the capital they provided.
  3. Conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation is an offence under section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006 and section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 punishable on indictment by a fine and/or up to 10 years' imprisonment.
  4. Money laundering is an offence under section 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and is punishable on indictment by a fine and/or up to 14 years' imprisonment.
Channel website: https://www.fca.org.uk/

Original article link: https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/four-individuals-charged-over-suspected-water-scam

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