A group of connected land banking ‘investment’ companies have been wound up in the public interest by the High Court for operating a £5m land banking cam in Brazil from a UK base.
Pantheon Realty Consultants Limited, Pantheon Realty Consultancy Limited, Pantheon Realty Limited, Pantheon Limited and PR Group Limited were wound up following investigations by the Insolvency Service and petitions presented by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills.
The companies used “high pressure sales techniques including exaggerated promises of large returns” from selling plots of land in Brazil to over 320 individuals, generating over £5m, claiming investors would benefit from the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games, held in Brazil.
The investigation found showed the locations of the land offered were “impossible to pinpoint”, the suitability of the plots for development was “unknown” and the existence of any planning permission “uncertain”.
In his judgment, Chief Registrar Baister commented that the companies were operating an overseas land banking scheme in which “dishonesty was going on” and that the companies had fallen below the minimum standards of commercial behaviour expected.
David Hill, investigation supervisor at The Insolvency Service, said: “These companies attempted to take advantage of world renowned sporting events to entice people to invest in their bogus schemes.
“However, they could not support their exaggerated claims and investors who fell for their slick patter ended up losing out.”
“Companies such as these can rest assured that the Insolvency Service will take action against and put out of business, companies that set out to rip off honest investors”.