Sloane Robinson Founder Blames Adviser For Tax Problem

Jan 13 2014 | 9:41am ET

Sloane Robinson co-founder Hugh Sloane is suing his former tax advisers over a deduction that wasn't.

Sloane, who stepped down as CEO of his hedge fund in 2012, invested £2.4 million in a film investment company run by investment bank Zeus Capital in 2008. By the end of the year, it was a total loss.

Still, the news was not all bad for Sloane, since, according to his lawsuit, Saffery Champness had told him that losses on the venture would qualify for tax relief. But when he sought to claim that relief, Britain's Revenue and Customs would have none of it—and opened investigations both into the "Zeus Scheme" and into Sloane's tax return.

According to Sloane, Saffery partner Gilbert Holbourn had ignored a warning from another partner at the firm that the Zeus deal was "frankly suspicious," and failed to disclose that it received a £123,264 commission from Zeus.

Sloane's lawsuit called Saffery's actions "astonishing and repugnant." He is seeking £2.5 million for breach of fiduciary duty and negligent misrepresentation.

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