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Criminal case dropped against 'missing' Innovation Fund firm

Criminal case dropped against 'missing' Innovation Fund firm

Friday 23 August 2019

Criminal case dropped against 'missing' Innovation Fund firm


Prosecutors have decided not to proceed with their criminal case against a firm that banked a £500,000 Innovation Fund loan before 'vanishing' from the island over fears there isn't enough evidence for a conviction.

The decision came following a Police investigation into software firm Logfiller spanning more than two years.

Express had regularly asked about the status of the investigation, which was launched following referral from the government's spending watchdog to the Attorney General in 2017, but Law Officers repeatedly declined to comment.

However, a spokesperson finally confirmed this afternoon: “There has been a thorough and extensive criminal investigation into this matter and a substantial amount of detailed documentary evidence and testimony from key witnesses has been obtained."

Video: A promotional film about Logfiller released in 2015.

They continued: "That evidence has been reviewed by independent counsel to ascertain whether any criminal offences may have been committed in the course of Logfiller Limited’s application for a loan from the Jersey Innovation Fund and the subsequent use of that money. After careful consideration the conclusion has been reached that the evidence does not afford a realistic prospect of conviction of any person for any offences.” 

It comes after Express revealed in February that over £340,000 of the taxpayer money loaned to Logfiller under the ill-fated Innovation Fund was still owed at the end of last year.

The Fund was set up by the States in 2013, with £5million of taxpayers' money, in a bid to help diversify and grow the economy after a deep global recession, with a Board made up of private sector individuals and States officers.

But a damning report by Comptroller and Auditor General Karen McConnell found serious flaws in the governance of the fund, which she said could lead to a potential loss of up to £1.4million of public money made up of overdue loan repayments.

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Pictured: The States' spending watchdog, Comptroller and Auditor General Karen McConnell, referred concerns to the Attorney General when she investigated the Innovation Fund.

Her concerns sparked a Police investigation in February 2017, with start-up company Logfiller coming under intense scrutiny for banking around £500,000 of taxpayers’ cash before appearing to vanishing from the island just a year-and-a-half later, without evidence of the "sophisticated computer software solution" it had promised in its business plan.

In late 2016, it was announced that the company was due to be liquidated by Grant Thornton and creditors were then invited to make claims. 

Logfiller subsequently started trading under the name of Octoinsight – a change made in April 2016. Their listed office was registered as being in Marlborough, Wiltshire.

US citizen Michael Colopy (66) was listed as a main shareholder, as well as Jeremy Andrew Charles Barker (63) from England – both of whom had their address listed as the ‘2010 Corporate Ridge Suite’ in Virginia, USA.

However, the firm has since been dissolved. Express's investigations show that it was wound up on 26 March 2019.

The final set of accounts filed under the company's name in November last year show assets totalling just £1,183.

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