LOVE Hemp has responded to damning allegations made publicly by its former managing director Philip Small, who left the company in November 2022.
The Aquis-listed CBD retailer, which has seen its shares suspended since May, issued an RNS on Monday, January 30 stating it ‘rigorously refutes’ the numerous accusations.
Mr Small’s account of his year-long stint at Love Hemp, understood to have been published in a public Telegram group, levels a number of serious allegations against the company and its directors, including VAT fraud, the misleading of investors, corporate fraud, perpetuation of an investment scam and ‘mismanagement’ at its core.
In response, Love Hemp’s board of directors said it was ‘shocked by the allegations’ and levelled a number of similar accusations at Mr Small, stating that actions during his short tenure ‘damaged the brand and resulted in unquantifiable losses’.
In its RNS, Love Hemp said that the comments ‘are being thoroughly investigated by the company’s advisors including Love Hemp’s legal team’.
“However, until such investigation is completed, the board has no reason to believe any of these comments to be true.”
The statement also attempted to distance and differentiate itself from ‘the previous’ board, against which many of the claims are levelled, stating that the current board ‘cannot justify why the previous board made the decision to select Mr Small as the Managing Director’.
Aquis (AQSE) has also weighed in on the dispute, telling The Times: “In light of new allegations made, there will be additional scrutiny of Love Hemp by the Aquis Stock Exchange regulatory team, who will work closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as necessary.”