Companies shut down for selling land they didn’t own

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TWO companies have been wound-up for selling land they did not own or had no value - including some in the Grantham area.

Regency Land Sales Ltd and Regency Land Group Limited IBC, based in London, Spain and Belize were both wound up in the High Court following an investigation by the Government’s Companies Investigations, part of The Insolvency Service.

The investigation found Regency Land Group Limited, formed in Belize and operated from offices in Spain, used telesales methods to sell small plots of agricultural land in Grantham to members of the public.

The company misleadingly suggested the land would ‘accrue further value when it was rezoned for planning purposes’.

In reality, enquiries made of the local authority by investigators confirmed there was no real prospect of such rezoning taking place.

Regency Land Sales Ltd, an England & Wales registered company, acted as UK sales agent for its offshore relation.

The investigation followed on from an earlier enquiry into Britannia Land Management Limited, which also sold land in Grantham and which identified similar concerns over the activities of that company, resulting in it being wound up by the High Court in the public interest on 18 October 2010.

Both Britannia and the Regency companies have been managed by Llewellyn Adam Hannah-Shelton, a British man who was living in Spain.

During the investigation, Mr Hannah-Shelton and others said to be in control of the two companies failed to co-operate with Investigators and did not provide full information regarding their affairs.

Nevertheless, the investigators were able to establish that the land sold to the public was never legally transferred into their names and that whilst purchasers were given a “guarantee” of 8 per cent growth on their investment in the first 12 months, this was entirely illusory.

Investigators also found that there was also a lack of transparency about the management and status of Regency Land Group Limited as a Belize registered company with only very limited disclosure of its details.

In addition, those in control of the companies admitted to the use of aliases when talking to the clients, and to using virtual offices and internet based mail scanning services.

On September 7, the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills successfully applied to the High Court to have the Official Receiver appointed as Provisional Liquidator of both companies.

The role of the provisional liquidator was to protect assets in the possession or under the control of the company pending the determination of the petition.

l Were you a victim of the scam? Contact our newsdesk on 01476 562291.