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Sorted And The City: Sex threats firm is fined pounds 100,000.

Byline: Andrew Penman, Michael Greenwood & Guy Dennis

T HE past has come back to haunt brokers MLP Personal Finance in a bizarre yarn that involves adultery, blackmail, secret files and a pounds 100,000 fine.

MLP, the UK offshoot of a massive German parent, was hammered yesterday by the Financial Services Authority for mis-selling endowments. Explaining the fine, the FSA's Carol Sargeant said: "Had it not been for prompt intervention by the regulator, a considerable number of UK consumers could have been sold products that were unsuitable."

London-based MLP director Dirk Bohsem says only a handful of customers were affected and new safeguards were in place. "We regret what happened but we've changed," he says.

He blames the episode on former director Dorian Simon, who has since been sacked. And here the tale gets murkier.

Simon was given the boot from MLP after important documents were leaked to German journalists. When he was grilled by the company, the married 31-year-old claimed he had been forced to hand over the files by his mistress, a London broker, who was threatening to reveal their affair to his wife.

"That's the story he told us, I do not know if it's true," says MLP spokesman Christian Maertin. "We were not interested in his reasons. What matters is that he passed on secret documents to the German press."

The mess isn't over yet. A German magazine reported last month that Simon is suing his former firm for damages.

And since he refuses to accept his dismissal, MLP is being forced to hold an emergency general meeting to have him removed from the board.

Simon, who gives a castle near Frankfurt as his home address, refused to comment yesterday.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 28, 2003
Words:288
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