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FCA Bans Six for £4.3M Unauthorised Collective Investment Scheme

2nd November 2016

Landbanking Scam: FCA Ban Six Individuals

Yesterday the FCA banned six individuals from undertaking any regulated activity again due to their involvement in the operation of an unauthorised collective investment scheme.

During the period of July 2008 to November 2011, Scott Crawley, Daniel Forsyth, Adam Hawkins, Ross Peters, Aaron Petrou and Dale Walker took part in the operation of an unauthorised collective investment scheme via three companies: Stirling Alexander Ltd, Plott UK Ltd (previously Plott Investments Ltd) and European Property Investments (UK) Ltd.

Over the course of the operation, 110 investors lost just under £4.3 Million in what was found to be a case of landbanking fraud.

Mr Walker, who had acted as a solicitor for the scheme took nearly £900,000 in personal profits from the unauthorised operation.

In particular, the individuals involved were convicted of offences including:

The FCA informed:

 “Using sales scripts, misleading promotional material, and high-pressure sales techniques [the individuals] lied about the current and future value of the land. People were persuaded to purchase land at a vastly inflated price, on the false promise of a substantial profit.”

Together, the individuals who operated the scheme have received sentences totalling more than 30 years in prison.

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What is Landbanking?

Landbanking is a practice where land is portioned and sold to investors with the promise that it will increase in value once it is developed, however in this case, not only was the activity unauthorised by the regulator, the operation took on investors for land that the companies did not yet own.