This land banking fraud deceived 259 victims that their investments in land in Redditch, Warwickshire, would return profit, after its sale to residential property developers. However, this land was part of the green belt reserved for agricultural use.
Geoff Southcote-Want, Specialist Fraud Prosecutor, Crown Prosecution Service said:
“Land banking fraud has the potential to ruin lives, damaging the future of its victims by draining their life savings.
“The victims’ money, a total of £3.5 million, was spent by the offenders on purchases including Ferrari and Maserati cars costing £115k and £90k each.
“The Crown Prosecution Service is committed to bringing fraudsters such as these to justice. We are now pursuing the confiscation of the assets in this case under the Proceeds of Crime Act.”
Wren and Hilton had already been disqualified as directors by the Financial Services Authority and worked with others between August 2005 and 2012 to fraudulently obtain significant sums of money.
The defendants lied that there were ‘known developers’ interested in the land, that planning permission was in place and development was under consideration by the council. None of these facts were true.
One woman invested and lost her entire life savings, while another investor, who was left blind after an assault, lost the money he was paid as compensation to the fraud.
Details of the charges:
Timothy Wren, John ‘Jack’ Chandler, Jeanette Chandler, Kevin Hilton and Alfred Arthur were charged with and convicted of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to common law.
Details of the sentences:
Timothy Wren received eight years imprisonment, John ‘Jack’ Chandler received seven years, Kevin Hilton received six years and Jeanette Chandler and Alfred Arthur each received four years imprisonment.