The former directors of a holding company have been disqualified from acting as company directors for a total of 21 years, following an investigation by The Insolvency Service.
Brett Tremain and Mark Blyth of Natrocell Shareholders Limited were banned for “ripping off” the public to the tune of £2.4m through misleading and aggressive marketing.
Tremain, 37, from Kent was banned for 12 years from 3 July 2013, while Blyth, 49, from London had earlier signed a nine-year disqualification undertaking, which came into effect on 2 July 2013.
Robert Clarke, head of company investigations at The Insolvency Service, said: “This is a sad case in which members of the public suffered significant financial losses as a result of being misled into buying shares by unscrupulous brokers, only to see most of the money end up as commission.
“This ban is a warning to other directors tempted to raise funds by such means that The Insolvency Service will investigate and remove them from the business environment.”
In 2008, Natrocell Shareholders Limited used overseas share brokers to raise £2.4m from new shareholders.
Brokers engaged in cold calling and high pressure sales techniques, as well as targeting elderly and vulnerable people.
Shareholders were led to believe their money would be used to fund development work of a subsidiary company, however at least £1.4m was transferred to overseas bank accounts to pay commission to brokers.
Natrocell Shareholders Limited was incorporated in 2005 and acted as a non-trading holding company. It acquired the share capital of Natrocell Technologies Limited which was involved in developing and selling a rat poison product.
Natrocell Shareholders Limited went into administration on 24 June 2009, owing £5.4million to shareholders.