CCI putting FPI/ Utmost case together and taking on big UK insurers with Signature LLP (London)

Please see here and below the Daily Mail’s article regarding the case, published on the ThisisMoney section of the website. The article is heavily critical of the actions of the insurers, noting that they were involved in the promotion and of the funds despite their defence in the case. The damage caused to people’s lives by the insurers’ actions is also placed front and centre in the article.

The Mail has also included a quote from Bob Blackman MP, of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Personal Banking and Fairer Financial Services, as well as noting that Mr Blackman said that the APPG would investigate the case.

Neither of the defendants provided a comment to the Mail for the story.

The impression given by the article is of two companies that have no real interest in their retail investors, and that they are advancing a dishonest defence to try and avoid liability for offering and marketing the funds. It is a good shot across the bows of the defendants, raising both public pressure by virtue of the article itself and political pressure, by the Mail making the APPG on Personal Banking and Fairer Financial Services aware of their actions. Download article on

Former Kleenmaid director sentenced to nine years imprisonment for fraud and insolvent trading

Niall Coburn led the ASIC complex investigation into Kleenmaid and its three directors, from 2009 to 2012 and with his ASIC team, prepared the Criminal Brief for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) in 2011. This complex investigation involved a review of the collapsed Kleenmaid Group who owed $100 million to creditors and discovery of four million financial and other documents and interviewing and taking statements from numerous witnesses.

The case is ground-breaking as it has seen a shadow director jailed for criminal insolvent trading. The investigation led to the imprisonment of Andrew Young for 9 years on 9 February 2020, the imprisonment of Bradley Young in December 2016 for 9 years and the imprisonment of Gary Armstrong who pleaded guilty in October 2015 and who received imprisonment for a period of 5 years 6 months.

Indian officials, eyeing Gold Coast hotel millions, accused of corruption – Sydney Morning Herald

A former senior ASIC investigator has told the Federal Court in Brisbane of his fears of corruption among Indian Government officials meant to be acting in the interests of the millions of victims of the alleged Ponzi scheme run by India’s Pearls group.

Niall Coburn, now a barrister in private practice, was on Tuesday giving evidence in a case to determine what happens to the almost $100 million in proceeds from the 2016 sale of the Sheraton Mirage hotel on the Gold Coast by Australian company MiiResorts.

… see full story here: 

International Investigation – Pearls Ponzi victims win $90m

The Federal Court in Queensland has ruled in favour of a class action by about 45,000 Pearls investors brought by Barrister Niall Coburn, a former investigator with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, and ruled against handing the money to Indian authorities.

More than $90 million funnelled to the Gold Coast by the masterminds behind India’s giant Pearls Group Ponzi scheme will be made available to victims and distributed under an Australian court-supervised remediation scheme.

In his findings, judge Michael Lee said “the only conclusion to be drawn was that without the actions of Mr Coburn and his legal team, the proceeds of the Sheraton Mirage sale and two luxury Gold Coast properties would “most likely have been put beyond the reach of investors”.