Russell King and Paul Barber appeared in Jersey’s Royal Court on 3 August, each facing 28 charges relating to fraud and forgery, reports local newspaper the Bailiwick Express.
King was placed under a travel ban in 2010, which prevented him from leaving Bahrain, but was extradited from the kingdom a week before appearing in court.
Barber was detained in the UK on 2 August and brought to the island by Jersey Police the following day. He appeared in court in a wheelchair less than 24 hours later.
Barber has been remanded in custody at HM Prison La Moye, as he was deemed a flight risk.
It is not clear what roles King and Barber had at the company, as its opaque structure was one of the reasons the firm was shut down in 2008.
There are currently no details around the sum that was defrauded or any action being taken by investors to recoup their losses.
Both men are due to appear back in court on 24 August.
The tangled Belgravia web
Investment boutique Belgravia Asset Management was founded in 2004, with Belgravia Financial Services Group set up a year later.
News website Financial News reported in 2005 that Belgravia AM was the first investment house to offer overseas investors access to non-tradeable shares in listed Chinese companies.
With offices in Jersey, London, Dubai and Hong Kong; it ran a property fund and a precious metals hedge fund aimed at wealthy individuals and institutional investors.
In 2005, Belgravia AM said it had £530m ($689m, €595m) in assets under management.
In August 2006, UK newspaper the Telegraph wrote that Belgravia Group was in talks to buy Newcastle United Football Club and had assets of £1bn.
Describing the group as a “secretive investment company based in Jersey”, the Telegraph article stated that chairman Duncan Hickman set up Belgravia with fellow banker Ron Mitchell in 2000 after they sold hedge fund Liberty Emitage.
Jersey regulator steps in
During an onsite visit by the JFSC in January 2008, Belgravia AM’s management was unable to provide satisfactory answers to questions relating to the firm’s financial standing and organisation.
In May, Hickman died unexpectedly. He was around the age of 40.
It later transpired that several investors had written to the group to request an extraordinary general meeting to replace the board.
The JFSC confirmed in August 2008 that it had not approved a proposed transfer of business from Belgravia AM to a UK-listed firm called First London, an investment bank that reportedly had ties to King.
A month later, the regulator stated that senior members of the management team at Belgravia had been removed, with shareholder Barclays Private Bank and Trust named as trustees.
It added that a criminal investigation had been launched by the Joint Financial Crimes Unit of the Jersey police force.
Days later, the JFSC said it had instructed Belgravia AM and two other Belgravia subsidiaries to suspend six funds with immediate effect.
Belgravia AM was placed into liquidation on 15 September 2008, with Deloitte appointed as liquidators.
The last official update from the JFSC was dated 28 July 2010 and related to the revocation of the licence issued to Belgravia AM, which stopped providing services to the remaining funds.
At the time, the JFSC stated: “The Commission’s investigations are multi-jurisdictional, which has added to the complexity and time taken. [Belgravia AM’s] licence has now been revoked. The Commission’s investigations into the former activities of [Belgravia AM] and associated persons continue.”