The business empire of Liberty Steel owner Sanjeev Gupta is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.
The SFO said it was investigating suspicions of fraudulent transactions and money laundering at companies of the Gupta Family Group Alliance (GFG).
Investigators will also be examining his funding deals with bankrupt finance firm Greensill Capital – under the spotlight of David Cameron’s lobbying activities.
“The SFO is investigating suspicions of fraud, trade fraud and money laundering in connection with the financing and conduct of business of companies within the GFG, including its funding arrangements with Greensill Capital,” said Friday the SFO in a press release.
Mr. Gupta’s businesses were among Greensill’s main customers before its collapse in March of this year. GFG’s dependence on Greensill has raised concerns among many that he could be in danger following the demise of the finance company.
The SFO investigation follows an announcement by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) earlier this week that it was investigating Greensill, after receiving allegations relating to the business collapse that were “potentially criminal in nature” .
the Financial Times previously reported that Mr. Gupta’s companies had delivered suspicious invoices to Greensill.
Greensill’s model worked by placing itself between business customers and their suppliers. It would immediately pay the invoices that the suppliers gave to their customers, which meant that the suppliers would not have to wait months for payment.
the FT said one of Mr Gupta’s companies sent invoices to Greensill for deals they allegedly did with four European metal companies. But the companies told the newspaper that they had not dealt with GFG.
In response, GFG Alliance said the invoices were for products it may be planning to sell in the future.
Greensill founder Lex Greensill and Mr Cameron, who lobbied for the company from 2018, were both questioned by MPs on parliamentary committees earlier this week.
Mr Greensill has denied suggestions by Members of the Commons Treasury Committee that his collapsed business was a “fraud” or a “Ponzi scheme.”
He said the ultimate reason for his business bankruptcy was that insurers had withdrawn their coverage and refused to say how much was on loan to businesses run by Mr. Gupta.
On Thursday, it was revealed that Mr Gupta had recently cut off Wyelands Bank, a lender of which he is the largest shareholder.
The bank’s board said it was looking for new owners after Mr Gupta told them he would not continue to support the struggling lender. In May last year, Mr Gupta granted the bank a £ 75million loan.
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This notice was published: 2021-05-14 11:14:35