England

The Boblins TV show investors 'misled in £14m fraud'

Two men who raised more than £13.8m in making children's animation shows gave "dishonest and misleading" information to investors, a court has heard.

David Griffiths, 50, of New Road, Oreton, Kidderminster, and Simon Drew, 49, of The Grove, Rye, East Sussex, deny fraud and deception.

A show called The Boblins had some success, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

But it was told by 2008 "the whole caboodle was in trouble". The men deny 16 fraud charges and 18 of deception.

Between 2004 and 2009, their fundraising efforts had brought in nearly £14m in cash, cheques or as guarantees for loans, the jury was told.

Fast food meals

The case involved them raising finance from investors to make animated TV programmes and marketing them by selling merchandise such as toys and DVDs, the court heard.

Mr Griffiths headed up a company called Inspire GLG in Bewdley, Worcestershire, and Mr Drew was described in court as an independent financial advisor.

Prosecutor Malcolm Morse alleged investors were told Mr Griffiths had a successful commercial history as a businessman, but it was said that the opposite was true.

It was claimed that Mr Griffiths was a multi-millionaire from his success in children's animations and that McDonald's was considering putting Boblins toys in children's fast food meals, but the prosecution said this was "baloney".

There were 26 episodes of The Boblins, which aired on television in countries including the UK, Norway and Sweden, and the characters represented a colour of the rainbow, the court heard.

It was told the two men had hoped there "would be returns at the end of the rainbow".

The trial continues.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites