Page last updated at 08:34 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 09:34 UK

Bus chiefs 'stung by City trader'

Ann Gloag
Ann Gloag launched Stagecoach with the help of her brother Brian Souter

Scottish transport tycoons Brian Souter and Ann Gloag are alleged to have been stung by a prominent City financier who has apparently disappeared.

Fraud squad detectives are examining claims Nicholas Levene, 45, went missing after losing millions of pounds of investors' cash.

He is being pursued through the courts over alleged debts of at least £20m.

The trader has not responded to High Court moves seeking repayment of gambling debts and trading profits.

Among those making claims against him are Stagecoach owners Brian Souter and Ann Gloag and bookmaker IG Index .

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Last week certain information was passed to the Met fraud squad. Detectives are now assessing the matter to determine what action, if any, is necessary.

"At this time no decision has yet been reached on whether an inquiry should be conducted."

Mr Levene worked for MG Equity Partners, based in Berkeley Square, in London's West End.

No-one at the firm was available to comment, but the company website said Mr Levene is an expert in equity and derivatives markets with 25 years of experience.

Brian Souter
In July Brian Souter gave his 1.6m bonus to his firm's pensioners

Documents lodged with the High Court revealed that Mr Levene was ordered to pay Mr Souter and Mrs Gloag almost £18m in July.

The pair had asked him to invest £5m in a mining group and banking giant HSBC in a series of deals earlier this year.

But it is alleged he did not repay the investment money or any profits. Cheques worth a total of £8.8m bounced because he closed the account.

Mrs Gloag founded the Stagecoach transport group and, with the help of her brother Mr Souter, built a fortune estimated at £720m.

A second set of documents reveals that Mr Levene is being pursued by bookmaker IG Index over a £720,000 debt.

The trader racked up the loss with a spread bet on a cricket match between South Africa and the West Indies on 11 September, 2007.

He is also vice-chairman of east London football club Leyton Orient and owns a 6% stake in the club.

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn said: "We are aware of the newspaper articles regarding Nick Levene's business interests and personal financial dealings but have no further information than that which has been reported in the media.

"Until such time as we have discussed the situation further with Nick Levene, we will be making no further comment on the matter."



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