A businessman invested $10,000 in a company at the centre of a theft and money laundering trial and never received anything back, a court heard yesterday.

Lloyd Larson told jurors he put the cash into Emerald Capital International after attending a meeting in Ontario with its bosses — David Bolden, Jason Bagg and John Wright.

Mr Bolden and his wife, Antoinette Bolden, are accused of taking nearly $300,000 from ECI.

The couple, of Hamilton Parish, deny theft and money laundering.

Yesterday, Mr Larson told the court: “Jason Bagg contacted me to say there were some indiscrepancies (sic) he was aware of.

“He gave me the title of vice president of corporate security and asked me to help in the investigation in regards to the money that had gone missing.

“I am a retired police detective from Canada and have investigated numerous fraud and complex theft investigations.”

Mr Larson reviewed a series of e-mails between Mr Bagg, Mr Wright and the Boldens and presented his findings to Bermuda's  Financial Crime Unit.

When asked if he had received any of the money he invested back, he replied: “No, I have not.”

Gary Guthrow, also of Canada, told jurors he put $10,000 into ECI. A third investor, Kenneth King, ploughed $100,000 into ECI.

In a statement, he said: “The initial report suggested all was going to plan.

“At no time did we agree for the funds to be used for another purpose.”

A statement was also read out from Wendy Trott, an employee of the Boldens. She called them “very strong Christians who were honest and humble”.

The case continues.