Investors were told that Mr Michael was a specialist in the "buy to let" market with an estimated personal portfolio of £11million. They were promised he would locate suitable properties for investment that were in the course of construction and by buying in bulk from the developers could negotiate significant discounts.
CIB’s investigation discovered that the companies were being operated by Michael as effectively one entity and with a complete lack of commercial probity. In particular there were:
* Inadequate records kept;
* Clients’ money was paid into Michael’s personal accounts to fund his own property dealings;
* Clients’ deposits were not returned for purchases that did not proceed;
* Failure to account for rents due to clients;
* Misleading advertisements;
* Misrepresentations as to the property discounts obtainable;
* Insolvency and breaches of Consumer Credit protection;
At least 30 investors were found to be owed nearly £1.6 million.
In ordering the companies into liquidation Mr Registrar Jacques stated the evidence made out a clear case that it was just and equitable to wind up the companies in the public interest.
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