Former Jongleurs boss is in jail for fraud | Finance chief Marios Lourides was given ten years

Former Jongleurs boss is in jail for fraud

Finance chief Marios Lourides was given ten years

Former Jongleurs boss Marios Lourides is behind bars following a conviction for fraud, Chortle can reveal

The 54-year-old was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court in West London on December 18, where he was also disqualified from being a company director for 12 years.

The fraud related to a series of dishonest investment schemes offered to clients, and not linked to his position at Jongleurs.

He was convicted alongside Mark Ablitt, a fellow director of an accountancy company called Sears Morgan. The pair are understood to be appealing their sentence.

Lourides, from Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, has been the director of 43 companies over the years, and became finance director of the comedy club chain after its ownership changed in 2009.

Sears Morgan acted as company secretary for Jongleurs, the comedy club chain founded by Maria Kempinska in 1983, from a venue in Battersea, South London. 

Two years later she met her business partner John Davy and they expanded the empire across the country. The pair sold the business in 2000 to pubs operator Regent Inns, making multi-millionaires of them both. 

They regained control of the brand in 2009, after the collapse of Regent, with them each owning a third of the new company, alongside Lourides.

Lourides resigned from a suite of companies connected with Jongleurs in December 2014, the month after Sears Morgan went into administration. Within a year Jongleurs had called in the administrators too.

At the time, the list of creditors – primarily comedians and their agents – ran to nine pages. 

Several attempts to revive the brand in conjunction with various nightclub operators all floundered and the Jongleurs companies were formally dissolved in December 2017.

In 2016 the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants suspended Lourides’ certificate to practise, saying: ‘It is necessary to do so in order to protect the public.’

He was disqualified from being a company director because he was convicted of an indictable offence at the Isleworth Crown Court hearing.

A separate company called Sears Morgan Accountancy Ltd operates from the same Pinner address as the shuttered Sears Morgan Ltd, but Lourides was never a director of this company. No one there has been available for comment.

Published: 13 Mar 2019

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