Ban for de Facto Director of African Gold Trading Investment Scam
Investors lost £360,000 after Sutter Capital Ltd promised annual returns between 15% and 22%
Benedict Moruthoane, 51 based in Finchley in north London, has been disqualified as a director by the High Court for 14 years after helping to defraud investors of £360,000.
Sutter Capital was incorporated in June 2018 and promised investors returns of between 15% and 22% per annum on bonds based on arbitrage trades within the artisanal & small-scale gold mining market throughout Africa.
Between September and December 2018 the company secured £360,000 from investors.
However, Sutter’s promotional material had not received the required approval under Section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, and much of the material contained inaccuracies.
Although Sutter Capital did receive approval for three bonds in October 2018, these could only be marketed to certain categories of investors. The company did not, however, adhere to these restrictions.
Sutter Capital ceased trading in December 2018 and the Administrators raised concerns regarding the directors’ conduct to the Insolvency Service.
The subsequent investigation by the Insolvency Service established that as well as misleading potential investors with information in the promotional material, the company had failed to maintain or keep adequate records. All that was provided to investigators was a single spreadsheet, which showed payments for salaries, commission and expenses, but no investment activity.
The sole director, Eugeniu Sculea, accepted a disqualification undertaking last year for a period of 11 years.
However the High Court determined that Benedict Moruthoane had acted as a de facto director of Sutter Capital and ordered that he be disqualified for a period of 14 years, commencing 16 August 2022.
His disqualification order prevents him from directly, or indirectly, becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the permission of the court.
Ian Wilson, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service said:
Sutter Capital only traded for three months, supposedly raising investment for gold arbitrage trading. But in that short time it took hundreds of thousands of pounds from would-be investors, to whom it promised outrageously high returns.
This case should serve as a warning that any investment scheme that sounds too good to be true is almost certainly is.
Notes to Editors
Benedict Moruthoane (aka Ben Moruthane, or Titakanelo Benedict Christopher Moruthoane or Ben Moore) is of British, Lesotho and Mosotho nationality, and his date of birth is June 1972.
Sutter Capital Limited (company number 11416410).
A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:
act as a director of a company
take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
be a receiver of a company’s property
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.
Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.
Information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct