Green Planet Investment Limited, a company based in the UK and Gibraltar, has been ordered into liquidation by the High Court for carrying out a bogus property investment scheme.
The company used former Manchester United and England footballer Lee Sharpe to market the scheme in Brazil, taking £14m from approximately 300 investors.
Having convinced the investors they were dealing with a large UK registered bank, salesmen used high pressure sales techniques, making overstated promises of 20-30% returns on investments.
This was to persuade the investors to buy plots of land and off-plan apartments at three sites in Natal, Brazil – White Sands Country Clubs, White Sands Towers and Genipabu Beach Club.
Through its websites, Green Planet marketed itself as an “expert in the international property market.”
The websites also lured members of the public to a hard sell sales seminar by offering a free gift in exchange for completing a questionnaire. Together with internal agents, Green Planet engaged some 140 sales people through advertisements.
The properties, White Sands Country Club, White Sands Towers and Genipabu Beach Club, were allegedly to be completed and opened in March 2013, end of 2012, and end of 2011, respectively.
In the course of the Insolvency Service’s investigation, Brett Jolly, director of Green Planet, admitted that no building work was ever started.
Jolly had previously been director of a carbon credit company, Anglo-Capital Partners Ltd, which was ordered into liquidation on grounds of public interest.
Chris Mayhew, company investigations supervisor at the Insolvency Service, said: “Green Planet was a slick land investment scheme designed to make money only for those with the company and not the 300 investors who were persuaded by false and misleading statements to invest over $14m into an investment black hole.”