Fraud rap Scots space station investor launches £250k-a-week finance firm

A businessman who became a major investor in Scotland’s space race while facing fraud charges has launched a £250,000-a-week financial advice firm.

The Sunday Mail previously told how a company run by Michael Haston was allowed to take a £2million stake in the Government-backed Shetland Space Center despite serious concerns about his credentials.

He was charged with fraud in 2017 as part of an investigation which has now been discontinued.

Another of his ventures – Leonne International – is the subject of a Financial Conduct Authority warning.

The self-proclaimed “wonder kid”, who also uses the name Michael McQueen, is no longer involved in the space center.

Scottish businessman Frank Strang.

Chief executive Frank Strang said: “Michael Haston is not involved in the Spaceport. He is not an investor and he has absolutely nothing to do with our business. We canceled his shares of it and repaid the loan. ”

But we can reveal he has moved on to a new Edinburgh-based scheme – Haston Economics – selling investment advice.

The business, which has been promoted on national media platforms, charges prospective clients a one-off fee of £25,000 or £250,000 for a “week-long on-site visit by Haston Economics’ team of experts”.

In a promotion for the firm, Haston said: “It can be very difficult and stressful if you don’t know what you’re doing but our system will give owners the knowledge they require to go out and engage directly with the appropriate investors if their investment offering allows them to do so.

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“People are out in the market trying to raise money via the traditional methods of banks, corporate financiers, private equity houses and crowdfunding platforms and such like. It takes ages and nothing is guaranteed.

“We have created a sales and marketing blueprint that business people can use to go to the market with their qualified investment offering and raise money directly from the appropriate private investors and I strongly feel that everybody should have this sales and marketing knowledge.”

Haston previously went to court in a failed bid to try to gag the Sunday Mail from revealing his past.

His lawyers attempted to interdict publication at Glasgow Sheriff Court in April 2020 but a sheriff dismissed claims his privacy would be breached.

Shetland Space Center has received at least £15,000 of public money and has two prominent ex-politicians on its board – former Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott and former Labor minister Brian Wilson.

Haston – who boasts of having made more than £500million selling a “Cayman-based fund” – previously held a 20 per cent stake through Leonne.

The Financial Conduct Authority issued a warning on March 3, 2020, over Leonne.

It said the firm had been “targeting people in the UK” and “providing financial services without authorisation”.

A Sunday Mail investigation found that many of the firms the “leading multi-national” claimed to have “acquired” had never heard of Haston.

How the space station on Unst, Shetland, was expected to look.

In an interview discussing Haston Economics, he said: “There is no algorithm for experience and that’s what I’m bringing to the table with this venture – a tried and tested sales and marketing strategy for raising money in the 21st century.”

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Haston could not be contacted for comment.

A Crown Office spokesman said: “The Procurator Fiscal received a report relating to a 28-year-old male and an incident said to have occurred on June 29, 2017.

“After careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case, including the available admissible evidence, the Procurator Fiscal decided that there should be no proceedings taken at this time.

“The Crown reserves the right to proceed in the future should further evidence become available.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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