Northern Ireland

Court move protects Francois de Dietrich's creditors

Francois de Dietrich
Image caption Francois de Dietrich's assets in Northern Ireland have been frozen (picture courtesy of donegaldaily.com)

The High Court in Belfast moved to protect creditors of the company run by the fugitive businessman Francois de Dietrich, on Friday.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) was granted an order which allowed them to appoint provisional receivers to ETIC Solutions.

The order also prevents the company from making preferential creditor payments.

The FSA said de Dietrich was believed to be behind an illegal investment scheme.

Several people are seeking judgments against ETIC which operated on both sides of the border.

An application to have ETIC Solutions wound up is due to be heard next month and will not be affected by the appointment of provisional receivers.

In January Francois de Dietrich was committed to an 18-month prison sentence after he failed to comply with a court order insisting he reveal where his assets were held.

The businessman was not in court to hear the sentence being passed and since then police have not been able to ascertain his whereabouts.

The Frenchman though released a statement at the time insisting his businesses were legitimate and that he was working to return all outstanding monies.

The FSA earlier obtained a high court order restraining any potential unauthorised activity and freezing £20,223,485.

The court was told that while the company's offices in Londonderry were closed, there was evidence of some ETIC investors receiving e-mails.

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