News this week that best selling author Hanif Kureishi has lost his life savings of £120,000 following an alleged scam perpetrated by his accountant. Kureishi invested in a property scheme promising a fabulous 15% return after 120 days – only to later learn that there was little chance of getting his money back. The investment was made on the recommendation of Adam Woricker, then a partner of chartered accountants Fisher Phillips.
Commenting in this week’s Guardian Mr Kureishi said:
“The next thing I know is that I get a call from Fisher Phillips telling me they have sacked him and that I should talk to my lawyers.
“I’ve been told there’s little prospect of me getting my money back. Fisher Phillips has denied all knowledge, refused to apologise to me, refused to make recompense and until this week have refused to meet with me in any way. They said [it was] nothing to do with us.”
In their defence the accountants have said Mr Woricker was acting in a personal capacity and Fisher Phillips had nothing to do with it.
Whether or not the accountants will be able to distance themselves fully from the actions of a partner of the firm acting, apparently in his capacity as a partner, remains to be seen.
Two lessons worth remembering though: if it looks too good to be true it probably is; and, don’t take investment advice from an accountant!
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