A Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist and his Manchester-based business partner have each received 14-year bankruptcy restrictions for misleading people into investing in a property scheme which never materialised.
The Insolvency Service said Liam James Collins and David Bone took £874,000 from investors, promising returns of between 8 and 10 per cent, but instead used the funds to pay business expenses.
Collins appeared on the ITV1 show Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 as one half of the dance act ‘Faces of Disco’.
At the time, he and his cousin Bone, also a dancer, already owed more than £3m to creditors following the failure of a similar property business.
But between November 2010 and April 2011 they took a further £187,500 from the public despite being warned not to do so by the Financial Conduct Authority.
The Insolvency Service said Collins and Bone failed to carry out any of the investment activity which investors would have “reasonably expected them to do”.
It added that, when investors sought explanations, they were “misled” and the true state of the partnership’s finances were kept from them.
Ken Beasley of the Insolvency Service’s Public Interest Unit said: “At a time when they were already heavily indebted, Collins and Bone took substantial sums of money from members of the public with the promise of high returns on property investments with no reasonable expectation that they would ever be able to meet the repayments promised to investors.”
Liam James Collins, aged 34 of Covent Garden in London, and David Bone, aged 31 of Middleton, Greater Manchester, gave the bankruptcy restrictions undertakings to business secretary Vince Cable following earlier bankruptcy orders made on 9 May 2012 and 31 May 2012 respectively.
They each owed more than £4.5m to creditors.