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Scammer is banned from running company after property firm collapses

Fraudster Carol Wiseman, pictured outside court at an earlier hearing, has been banned from running a company for six years after her property firm collapsed with huge debts

Fraudster Carol Wiseman, pictured outside court at an earlier hearing, has been banned from running a company for six years after her property firm collapsed with huge debts

A woman who raked in a £1.6million fortune selling fake diet drops and bogus cancer treatments has been banned from running a company for six years.

Carol Wiseman, 51, and sister Helen Buchan, 52, claimed their Secret Diet Drops suppressed appetite and duped others into thinking apple cider vinegar could battle cancer. 

After ignoring Trading Standards orders to stop flogging the dodgy goods, they were hauled before court and admitted breaching consumer protection laws. Last year they were told to repay £830,000 of their ill-gotten gains.

Wiseman has now been punished over a separate property firm she ran which went bust owing thousands of pounds.  

The Insolvency Service launched a probe into her company Jacamar Properties after it went into liquidation last year.

They discovered Wiseman had not filed proper accounting records and failed to pay more than £88,000 in tax. 

The probe also revealed almost £300,000 had been removed from the company’s bank account and was unaccounted for.

Wiseman has now been disqualified from acting as a company director until 2025.

The sisters, both from Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, set up Secret Diet Drops Ltd, in 2011. Each made six-figure sums in the first two years of trading.

Warnings were issued by Trading Standards officials about the products but the pair failed to stop selling them and made only minor alterations to the advertising claims posted online.

An investigation was launched, leading to them appearing at Peterhead Sheriff Court in March 2016 and admitting two charges under consumer protection laws.

They were given 180 hours unpaid work in the community as an alternative to jail while the firm were fined £9000.

Prosecutors launched a proceeds of crime investigation and they were ordered to hand over a total of £826,821 in November.

The Insolvency Service’s investigation report into Wiseman says: ‘Company bank statements reveal expenditure for the period 01 August 2015 to liquidation, totalled £426,999.

‘Of this sum, narrative entries on the bank statements account for £131,356 in respect of payments to identifiable business expenditure and bank charges.

‘The balance of £295,643 represents cheque withdrawals of which £169,500 were drawn in round sum amounts over £500. In the absence of company accounting records it is not possible to determine if these withdrawals were used for the benefit of the company and/or its creditors.

Wiseman and sister Helen Buchan, pictured together, were last year ordered to pay back £830,000 after making £1.6million by selling bogus diet pills and cancer treatments

Wiseman and sister Helen Buchan, pictured together, were last year ordered to pay back £830,000 after making £1.6million by selling bogus diet pills and cancer treatments

‘Carol Wiseman caused Jacamar to trade to the detriment of HMRC, through failing to ensure that the company complied with its statutory obligations to submit returns and payments in respect of PAYE and NIC and VAT.’

Wiseman was the sole director of Jacamar Properties which was set up in 2004 to manage and let out properties. 

The report said she failed to deliver records to the company’s liquidator after it went bust.

In November at Peterhead Sheriff Court, a confiscation order was granted under the Proceeds of Crime Act – giving Wiseman and Buchan six months pair to repay more than £800,000.

Wiseman was ordered to hand over £298,316, while her sister was ordered to pay back £528,505. The court determined that the women made a total of £1,627,552 through their online business.

Secret Diet Drops Ltd claimed its ‘revolutionary’ products helped people shed pounds and gave them more energy. 

But it was found that any effect on body weight would be from a reduction in calorie intake, not the drops.

The company used an online service to prey on the vulnerable and duped them into believing apple cider vinegar ‘kills cancer cells and slows growth’.

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