FCA seize over £2M from fraudsters – Involved in land banking investment fraud
In May 2017, FCA succeeded in securing confiscation orders in respect of the last 2 perpetrators of a multi-million pound land investment fraud.
A total of £2,195,496 will be confiscated from eight defendants. The eight defendants are Scott Crawley, Brendan Daley, Daniel Forsyth, Adam Hawkins, Ricky Mitchie, Ross Peters, Aaron Petrou and Dale Walker, a solicitor who operated his firm, Dale R. Walker Solicitors in Sevenoaks, Kent.
HHJ Leonard QC sitting in the Central Criminal Court has directed that all sums confiscated from the Defendants be paid by way of compensation to the victims of their crimes. Those who have suffered loss should expect to receive just over 40% of the capital amount owed to them. The fraud was a collective investment scheme operated through 3 companies: Plott Investments Ltd (later known as Plott UK Ltd), European Property Investments (UK) Ltd and Stirling Alexander Ltd.
Unregulated sales people cold-called customers to sell them agricultural land that the companies had bought for minimal amounts as well as land the companies did not actually own. More than £5 million was extracted from investors to buy land at a vastly inflated price.
The action of the FCA in pursuing the perpetrators of investment fraud is to be applauded. It is hoped that the prospect of criminal sanctions will have a deterrent effect and enhance consumer protection.