FCA bans six for UK property scheme scam

Added 1st November 2016

Six of the eight men found guilty last year of a UK property fund scam, which defrauded investors of around £4.3m ($5.24m, €4.78m), have been banned by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity in the industry.

FCA bans six for UK property scheme scam

Between July 2008 and November 2011 these individuals were involved in the operation of an unauthorised collective investment scheme through three companies: Plott Investments Ltd, which changed its name to Plott UK; European Property Investments (UK), and Stirling Alexander.

The original eight individuals who operated the scheme, which led over 100 investors to purchase land at a vastly inflated price with the promise of returns over time, received sentences totalling more than 30 years between them.

The court case revealed that salesmen for Plott Investments, European Property Investments, and Stirling Alexander cold-called potential investors using sales scripts, misleading promotional material, and high-pressure sales techniques to lie about the current and future value of the land.

The six banned by the FCA on Tuesday are Scott Crawley, Daniel Forsyth, Adam Hawkins, Ross Peters, Aaron Petrou and Dale Walker. However, two of those convicted, Brendan Daley and Rickie Mitchie, escaped the bans and could, in theory, return to work in the industry.

During the original sentencing of the eight men in June 2015, Judge Leonard QC, called the scheme “subtle and cruel” for taking advantage of the public’s belief that land investments guarantee profit.

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Richard Hubbard

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Richard Hubbard is the group editor at Last Word. He is responsible for the editorial content of International Adviser, Portfolio Adviser, Expert Investor and Fund Selector Asia. Richard previously worked for Thomson Reuters and has covered the financial services industry and investment themes from its offices in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and New York. Richard started his career at the Australian Financial Review in Sydney.

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