Director banned for £3.5m land banking scam

Director banned for £3.5m land banking scam


Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, the director of a land banking business has been prohibited from being a director for seven years.

33 year-old Timothy Wren, based in Ormskirk, Lancashire, was found to have conned investors out of £3.5 million by selling agricultural land at inflated value.


Through his Land Banking (UK) plc company, he made misleading statements to investors that planning was likely to be granted for the land, and its value would increase “ten-fold”. 


However, a spokesman for the Insolvency Service said that if investors did any due diligence “they would see there was not a hope in hell of getting planning permission.”


The Insolvency Service added that the company “held out promises of untold riches. That was the hook they would use in their adverts. They used extravagant promises to get money out of them.”


Mr Wren sold 300 plots on five sites in the North West, and continued to re-sell plots that had already been bought, accepting an extra £290,000 for them, despite an undertaking to stop doing this.


The Insolvency Service’s Companies Investigation Branch also found that Mr Wren misled purchasers over a £500 “planning service disembursement”, which they were forced to pay. Although he claimed that the sum would be held in a bank account and held on trust, these arrangements were never put in place.


In June 2007, Mr Wren was told that he liable to hand over the £3.5 million he had made, as he was operating an “unauthorised collective investment scheme”, but the warning went unheeded and the director paid a further £72,021 to TA Wren Property, a name he also traded under.


Mr Wren also failed to keep proper accounting records, with no proper record of payments totalling £950,000 to himself and his other companies being made.


He was also found to have paid £300,000 ‘drawings’ to himself in addition to his annual wages of £50,000.


Land Banking collapsed into liquidation in February last year.

Leave a comment