Scotland’s Baroness Michelle Mone recently made headlines for her alleged mishandling of UK public funds during the COVID crisis. His company lobbied for won a public contract worth £203 million through the UK government’s VIP fast track for companies with political contacts. He was suspected of scoring inappropriately a large percentage of that cash. However, one of her previous controversies revolves around her problems security token, EQUI.
Baroness Michelle Mone of Mayfair (as she likes to be known) was first appointed to the House of Lords – England’s upper legislative chamber – in 2015. In the past, Mone has self-explanatory as “one of the biggest experts in cryptocurrency and blockchain” – a bold claim made by little evidence. according to The Guardiancritics described him as “more glamor than substance.”
Former Prime Minister of the Conservative Party David Cameron appointed him, and he officially sits in the upper house unelected as a fellow Conservative. However, she made her name as the founder of the lingerie company Ultimo. He also later worked as a business advisor and ambassador for the British government.
Mone received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 2010 from the same prime minister, for his perceived contribution to British business.
Due to the controversy related to COVID, since December 7, Mone has announced that he will have to take a “leave of absence” from the House of Lords. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “shocked” to read the allegations against the Baroness.
EQUI Token Michelle Mone
Mone’s story seems quite typical, involving a self-confident PR-based businessman who is relatively new to the world ICO (initial coin offering) model. Together with her businessman boyfriend (now husband) Doug Barrowman, Baroness Mone launched Ethereum– based on EQUI security token in 2018.
EQUI first entered the public consciousness through a controversial ICO and established itself as a “venture capital investment disruptor,” according to this press release. (Interestingly, the press release also described the duo as “two business icons”).
EQUI is intended to give inexperienced investors access to early-stage technology companies. However, during the construction of the incredible failure, “Britain Bitcoin“that ppromoted in the country’s main right-wing broadsheet newspaper as a way to “encourage more women to invest in the technology sector.”
Setting the flag to the ICO boom of the previous year, Doug Barrowman was quoted:
“EQUI brings venture capital investment to the age of modern technology and opens up the investment field to non-industry professionals, in order to generate the next hot investments that are usually preserved by institutions and individuals at a very high value … generation, a new way of thinking disrupts the work of established industries. EQUI is a bully.”
Michelle Mone told Business Insider how they put their “incredible reputation” on the line with their ICO. It was a prescient comment, considering his latest brush with the COVID controversy and accusations of misuse of public funds. According to the couple, “there is no way [they were] will do anything they don’t want to make fun of these people.” Platitudes that seem very sad in 2022.
Under the name EQUI Capital, the couple is planning an ICO to raise $80 million. However, as of March 30, 2018, he only earned $7 million. After extending the fundraiser until the end of June, the lack of confidence seemed to be contagious, and the couple failed to raise more. (They had planned to close on April 12).
After finding failure with the ICO, they seem determined to continue their business ventures through other means. EQUI Capital told the FT“They all found the ICO World Of Business a very strange place to do business with some alarming things. Therefore, we will not do an advanced ICO, and instead, we will focus on Blockchain Token technology. There is little explanation of what this means in practice.
In a correspondence with the same newspaper, he claimed that a closely related investor had pledged $6 million of the funds raised. When considering the initial goals, this paints a picture of an unsuccessful ICO, to say the least.
A Partnership With Steve Wozniak
On September 18, 2018, EQUI Capital appears to have relaunched as EQUI Global, with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak joining as co-founder, according to a press release on October 15, 2018. Wozniak and Mone have been pictured together, potentially confirming their relationship.
In the release, Wozniak said:
“I get ideas given to me every day, dozens in fact and I always say no. Since I founded Apple with Steve Jobs, this is about the second time in twenty years that I actually said yes, I want to be a part of this. This is it has to be something I believe in and I believe in EQUI.
Wozniak leads the business’ technology investment, mentoring and coaching arm of entrepreneur partners. There have been no further announcements about their involvement since. However, Wozniak began to participate other equity-related tokens.
When reporting, Company Building has registered from EQUI CAPITAL PARTNERS LIMITED. The only officer listed was Andrew Douglas John Barrowman, an individual with the same last name as Mone’s husband. Last year, the company changed its address from London to Manchester. Although, the company appears to be inactive and, according to Companies House records, close to “compulsory strike action.”
But Another Bad Actor In Space
Despite the recent snow controversy, Mone has previously been the subject of various glowing profiles about her rags-to-riches story, including in The Telegraph and the above mentioned Business Insider. While she was a regular feature in celebrity and business magazines during her lifetime (as a Baroness), she doesn’t appear to have any discernible expertise in cryptocurrency, despite her claims.
BeInCrypto has reached out to Michelle Mone for comment and clarification on various aspects of this story. At the time of publication, there was no response.
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