Mark Francis Cooney has been disqualified as a director for selling coloured diamonds as an investment at vastly inflated prices.

Mr Cooney was a designated member of London-based Reco Commodities LLP (Reco). He has signed a disqualification undertaking which means he is disqualified from 19 December 2016 and cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until 2029.

His disqualification follows an investigation by the Official Receiver at Public Interest Unit, a specialist team of the Insolvency Service, whose involvement commenced with the winding up of the company in the public interest following an investigation by Company Investigations, also of the Insolvency Service, into the affairs of the company.

The investigations uncovered that Reco telephoned individuals, selling them coloured diamonds on the basis they were suitable as an investment. The company inflated the price of the diamonds by hundreds of percent meaning that they were not suitable as an investment. As a result, customers are owed at least ?413,155.10.

Commenting on this case Anthony Hannon, Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit, said:

The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to use its enforcement powers to investigate and disqualify directors whose companies defraud the public. This lengthy disqualification will protect the public and act as a deterrent to others.