EXCLUSIVE by James Bryce

CHARITY money raised in a ‘Help for Heroes’ appeal is among thousands of pounds that may have gone missing after a Gibraltar businessman vanished.

Richard Brooks is understood to owe around 1,000 pounds in unpaid bills for the Soapbox Derby event he helped to organise in Gibraltar last October.

The Yorkshireman’s current whereabouts are unknown, while a list of disgruntled former clients and business partners claiming to be owed money continues to grow.

“I am aware that there are still some unpaid bills which I understand Richard Brooks has failed to honour,” Soapbox organiser Laura Green told the Olive Press.

“I am at the bottom of a long list and he owes me about a thousand pounds.

“I don’t know where the money went but I have received calls from a lot of people wanting to know where he is,” she added.

Brooks arrived in Gibraltar in 2010 setting up a car company Motortrader.gi, promising to be a huge success.

Among those claiming to be out of pocket include his former business partner at Motortrader, Derek Dalmedo.

The pair set up the website in October 2010, but the site was subsequently shut down after relations soured between the pair.

“He owes me 4,000 to 5,000 pounds,” DC Motors boss Dalmedo told the Olive Press.

“There were thousands of arguments between us and luckily I smelt a rat and left.

“He got me into debt and left my wife and I with serious emotional stress. He is a disgrace.”

A number of other companies are said to be out of pocket, including an accountancy firm and two local media companies.

The boss of one said: “We are owed over 2,000 pounds. He is a bit shady.”

His former partner Dalmedo added: “He has left a string of debts here and we understand owes well over 20,000 pounds. Everyone is looking for him.”

When the Olive Press – which itself is among those owed money by Brooks – tried to contact him both in Spain and back in the UK, he failed to respond.

Said to be the son of a Yorkshire accountant, he moved to Spain with his fiance Laura four years ago basing himself in Sotogrande.

His last UK address was given as being in Darlington.

Please contact james@theolivepress.es if you have any more information on Brooks

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