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Norton investors may get compensation

Over 200 people who lost their savings after investing in Stuart Garner’s Norton Motorcycles will eligible for compensation. The decision was announced recently by the Fraud Compensation Fund, over three years after Norton went into administration and 15 months after Stuart Garner was sentenced for illegally using pension funds to prop up the company. This has no connection with the current incarnation of Norton, now owned by TVS of India and building bikes at a factory in Solihull.

Investigative report Simon Goodley, in a podcast for The Guardian, had revealed that investors were tempted in with the promise of a tax-free lump sum, with good interest on their investment as Norton grew in the coming years. But it turned out that they would be liable for tax, and Norton went bust, so the investors, some of whom had ploughed their life savings into the company, lost everything.

“It is good news that the investors will be eligible for compensation,” said Simon Goodley, who interviewed several of of the small investors for the podcast,” but it won’t cover the interest they were promised.” He estimates they will receive about half of what they originally paid in. He added: “This will also take time and meanwhile the nightmare goes on and on for the victims. Even if they do receive compensation, I think a lot of the victims will feel that Stuart Garner has basically got away with it.” Garner was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and banned from being a company director for three years.

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, said: “A sad tale of dreams turning to dust. Always remember, if it sounds too good to be true, put your money away. If you want to take a punt on a very high risk ‘investment’, make sure it’s play money you use, not your life savings, which is like putting the rent money on the 3 o’clock at Kempton.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Norton