Scott suspicious of Titan's market muscle

Already branded a "snowball" scheme by Vice Chancellor Sir Richard Scott, the Titan Business Club looks set to live up to its name in litigation.

It seems a fair bet that litigation already under way over the club is set to snowball as well and the first action appears to be on course for the Court of Appeal.

The case has already caught the public interest. After a recent hearing that ended with Scott granting injunctions to effectively suspend the activities of Titan, a decision expected to be tested on appeal, a hotline had to be set up to field the huge response from members of the public involved in the scheme, currently said to be 9,000 in the UK. Moves are also imminent to have the club wound up.

Titan was put in the High Court dock by the Department of Trade and Industry which claimed the club's activities were an "unlawful lottery".

Scott was asked by the DTI to suspend the activities of Titan pending the winding up proceedings.

In support of its application, the DTI argued that the activities of Titan, which is managed by Hamburg-based SHV Senator, involved money circulation activities which were bound to fail and lead to members of the public losing their money.

The scheme involves continued recruitment of investors. However, the fear is that when no more new investors can be recruited, those who were last to join the scheme will stand to lose substantial sums of money.

Titan argues there is nothing unlawful about the scheme, which has won the support of a number of show business personalities and which has already been deemed lawful by the German courts.

The Vice Chancellor refused to appoint a provisional liquidator pending the hearing of the DTI's winding up petition.

But in his ruling he said the administrative structure of the multi-million pound "snowball" venture was "highly unsatisfactory, highly suspicious and thoroughly undesirable".