Steven Hargreaves – Scamming Investors Since 2010
Steven Hargreaves aka Stephen Michael Hargreaves was the CEO of International Innovations Ltd (IIL) until June 2012.
Apart from International Innovations Ltd, he also founded Richter Technology, Select Design Technology Ltd (SDTL), International Innovations Europe Ltd (IIE) and Linear Energy.
Through IIL and IIE, Steven Hargreaves used to exploit a patent. It described a method to transform waste heat into electricity in an affordable manner. All of them were Australian companies.
Now, you wouldn’t see any information about these companies online.
In SDTL, the price of shares ranged from 10c to 40c. It was about to list, like all the other companies of Steven Hargreaves. However, the company never listed and amounted to nothing.
Eventually, SDTL failed and the investors received 1:1 shares (1c shares) in 10% of International Innovations Limited.
At the same, Steven sold the IIL shares at a price higher than 1c. So, for the shareholders who bought in at the end of SDTL it was a 10x decrease in the value of their shares within a few months.
Steven Hargreaves was able to get around 400 million IIL shares in a total of 600 million shares for just $600. Clearly, it was unfair.
Many people who invested in this company used their retirement savings. After all, the company made plenty of bold promises to them, offering generous returns.
Although the company owned a few patents in some countries, it didn’t have much else to show. Initially, Steven Hargreaves’ company seemed like a good venture but it turned out to be a sham when he spent all of the investors’ funds on his personal expenses.
“Stephen Hargreaves spent millions from IIL on his personal expenses”
People had invested over $10 million AUD into the company and most of it went into the salary and expenses of the CEO, Steven Hargreaves.
While most companies look after their seed investors because they have stayed with them since the beginning, it was the opposite in the case of International Innovations Ltd.
Steven aka Mr. Hargreaves sold his shares and new shares of the firm to maintain his salary, which was $300,000 per annum. The last price for the company’s shares was 1/4c (0.25c). Clearly, he had no regard for the investors.
Did You Know?
Shares and stocks are often used as the same term, but shares are either fully paid or partially paid but stocks are fully paid, exclusively. Hence, it needs to be noted that stocks have a wider scope.
Later, Steven Hargreaves set up a new company in Malta and started exploiting the patents International Innovations Ltd owned at the moment.
Steven Hargreaves Was Reckless (Violated Section 184 of the Act Criminal Offence)
According to the investors in Steven Hargreaves’ IIL, he was reckless and dishonest. He kept raising capital from shareholders and used it for his personal benefit.
Steven knew that the capital he had raised was insufficient for commercial development of the patents. Furthermore, he kept raising capital when the company was on the verge of insolvency.
Steven Hargreaves resumed his fund raising activities even when the ASIC had placed a stop order on the Offer Information statement (OIS) document on 25 Aug 2010.
In other words, he kept raising funds for his personal expenses even when the ASIC had stopped the firm from doing so. Also, he did not obtain Asset & Income Declarations for sophisticated investors.
In some cases, he didn’t even let the company issue additional share capital but he disposed of some of his shares to new and additional shareholders.
What Other Shareholders Said About Him:
Steven has a ton of victims. He stole millions of dollars from the shareholders of IIL and SDTL and spent all of it on buying expensive cars and houses.
One shareholder pointed out that he used the company’s funds to rent a luxury condo on the water canals of the Gold Coast. The rent was around $12,000 or more at the time.
Also, when the new Gold Coast development was complete, Steven moved there with his family. You could always see him dining at the most expensive and exclusive restaurants and driving a Mercedes worth around $280,000 if not more. He had traded his Porsche in for the Mercedes.
He always wined and dined with the most affluent people living at the Gold Coast. Through this place, he met many of his potential victims.
According to the liquidators report, Stephen Hargreaves had failed to assist the official liquidator. In fact, he deliberately tried to deceive and frustrate him.
The liquidators report revealed that Stephen Hangreave was guilty of offences pursuant to Sections 180, 181, 182 and 184 of the act. Also, he breached his fiduciary duties when he performed unreasonable transactions.
The report came out in 2014.
How Steven Hargreaves Scams Investors:
Here is the step by step process through which Steven Hargreaves scams investors:
First he establishes a company and issues a ton of shares to himself. This means, he issues at least a third or more of those shares to himself.
Then, he gets hold of an exciting patent through purchasing the newly issued shares. He might also make the inventor a co-founder of his new company to get his name on the patent.
Then, Steven establishes himself as the CEO and chairman of the company and gives himself at least €200,000 salary along with all-expenses-paid and other perks.
“Steven blames other shareholders for his failures”
After that, he issues new shares to whoever needs a payment for providing their services to his new company. This way, he makes the life of every director intolerable and encourages them to leave the firm.
Afterwards, Steven Hargreaves starts selling his own shares to unsophisticated investors at outrageous prices to maintain his expenses. After all, €200,000 is insufficient for a guy like him.
Then, he uses the “fact” that his company is going to list soon as bait. He uses the bait to convince the shareholders to buy more shares. Steven claims that once the company is listed the shares will be more expensive.
He delays paying taxes or doesn’t pay them at all. Then, he blames everyone else for the failure.
Steven keeps pleading for money from the investors to keep the company running, pay for patent renewals because he can’t run a company with proper cost control.
However, he doesn’t forget to travel a lot (usually in first class with a companion of his choice). After all, his personal expenses come first and patent renewal doesn’t.
When the tax office asks too many questions, he leaves the country. The investors pay for his relocation every time.
Now, he repeats the steps in the new country while the authorities in the previous country stay silent and fail to do anything because he is in foreign territory.
Steven Hargreaves aka Stephen Hargreaves has used this method in Australia as well as Poland.
For example, ASIC, the Australian watchdog, had issued a notice in 2013 to deregister his company, Select Design Technologies Limited (SDTL).
After this, he left the country to scam the investors of another country (Poland).
Conclusion: Steven Hargreaves is A SCAMMER!
Steven Hargreaves is a serial scammer who scammed the investors of International Innovations Limited and Select Design Technologies Limited. Beware of him and any of his new ventures!
He keeps spewing lies online about himself and blames others to avoid criticism. However, he has a ton of victims now and if you ask any one of them, they will tell you the truth.
Steven Hargreaves is a dangerous fraud. Avoid him at all costs!
Steven Hargreaves stole millions from the investors of IIL and SDTL. Then, he started blaming other shareholders for his shortcomings to avoid criticism. He is a dangerous fraud who has hundreds of victims.
- Serial scammer
- Took millions from the investors of International Innovations Ltd