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Land banking firm wound up 19 September 2013

A Milton Keynes land banking firm that misled investors into buying plots of green belt land for property development has been wound up in the public interest.

Following an investigation by The Insolvency Service, Amberley Knight Ltd was wound up on 17 September at the High Court in Manchester.

Between July 2007 and September 2013, the company targeted investors through cold calling and online advertising, resulting in the sale of 97 plots of land at an average price of more than £7,700 apiece.

The investigation found Amberely Knight marketed the land plots and exaggerated its experience, claiming its team “provided clients with profitable land investment opportunities by identifying prime land sites across the UK with the potential for development.”

It also found the land sold by the firm was within green belt areas where development is restricted under Local Authority planning policies.

In winding the company up, the court accepted the Secretary of State’s evidence that “the business carried out by Amberley Knight lacked commercial probity and that there was a lack of commercial benefit to its customers.”

The court also observed that customers thought that they were dealing with a company of vast experience, whereas Amberley Knight actually had significantly less experience than it claimed.

Scott Crighton, investigation supervisor at The Insolvency Service, said: “Directors of companies who set out to market investment opportunities to the public on the basis of false or misleading information should be aware that The Insolvency Service can and will take rigorous action to stamp out their activities.”

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