Institutes – Scots ICA charges member for #1m fraud

An Ayr-based chartered accountant is facing disciplinary charges brought by the Scots ICA after allegations that he defrauded investors of over #1m.

Several elderly residents of Ayr claim he persuaded them to place their savings into the Forestry Performance Plan, to cash in on Scottish tax breaks on forestry investments. But investors claim the plan was never set up officially as a trust, and the land bought by the Plan was held in Hunter’s name.

It is also alleged that Hunter failed to inform his new investors that he had already sold sections of the land to British Coal – and had made a sizeable profit.

Jeremy Clarke, assistant director of legal services at the Scots ICA said: ‘We had one or two complaints which led us to make broader enquiries, and Hunter will now face disciplinary charges.’ Since the news came out, more of Hunter’s clients have come forward with claims against him.

The Scots ICA disciplinary committee felt the case was strong enough to issue an interim order suspending Hunter until his disciplinary hearing on 8 April.

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