Asset Land Worldwide frozen out by the High Court
A suspected land banking scam has had its assets frozen by the Financial Services Authority. The High Court order applies to Asset L.I. Inc. (trading as Asset Land Worldwide), Equity Services (London) Limited, and Asset Land Investment PLC.
Three individuals who cannot be named for legal reasons have also had their assets frozen.
The FSA has also obtained court orders to prevent any of the companies or individuals from selling plots of land on particular sites pending further investigation. The sites are at Stansted, Harrogate, Lutterworth in Leicestershire, Newbury in Berks, Liphook in Hampshire and South Godstone in Surrey.
The freezing order is part of action involving West Berkshire Trading Standards and the Metropolitan and Essex police who executed a warrant at an address in Essex and made one arrest.
“This is a further example of the FSA working with other agencies and taking action to protect consumers from unauthorised land banking firms and the individuals behind them,” said Tracey McDermott, acting director of enforcement and financial crime at the FSA.
“Anybody investing in land should always have it independently valued to check its worth. Further, if you are ever sold land as an investment, and on the basis that someone else will manage it for you as part of a wider site, you should check that the firm is authorised by the FSA.”
Report from Penman & Somerlad Investigate in the Daily Mirror.