Steve Long of Ipswich-based Universal Wealth Preservation has been jailed for eight months after he failed to provide information to help clients track down £25 million of their investments.
Families have been left fearing for their homes and life savings following the collapse of inheritance planning firm Universal Wealth Preservation.
The company ran seminars called ‘Keep it in the Family’ at locations up and down the country, including Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and Cheshire.
At the seminars, people were invited to put their homes and savings into a trust. In practice, this meant that homeowners who entered into the scheme relinquished control over their homes and assets and named Universal Trustees Ltd or their directors as the trustees.
When the company went into liquidation the trusts were exposed to significant risk and the trustees were no longer able to act to protect the trust assets leaving families desperate to bring their homes and savings back under their own control.
No criminal charges have been brought against Mr Long but he is facing 27 damages claims from families and was ordered to provide information to help track down the missing money.
When he failed to provide the required details, claiming that he did not know about the order for disclosure of his assets, Mr Long was sentenced to eight months in prison.
It is important that Universal Wealth Preservation clients seek immediate legal advice to review the wills and trusts that have been created. As a matter of urgency, people need to look at whether it is possible to remove the company as trustees and alter title deeds to ensure control over finances and homes is returned to families or representatives of their choosing.