Serious Fraud Squad investigates major UK property development failures

Serious Fraud Squad investigates major UK property development failures

A serious fraud investigation has been launched into the collapse of three major property developments in Liverpool and Manchester.

The Serious Fraud Squad and Merseyside Police raided a number of addresses across the region in conjunction with the North-West Regional Organised Crime Unit.

One of the schemes under investigation is a £200m development in Liverpool’s Chinatown.

The collapsed Angelgate Development in Dantzic Street in city centre Manchester and the North Point Pall Mall development in Liverpool are also at the centre of the investigation.

There has been a series of issues including failing contractors and developers and complaints from investors who paid up-front for flats.

The Serious Fraud Office said it “cannot comment any further at this stage.”

But officers involved in the investigation are asking anyone who invested in any of the three property developments to complete an online questionnaire.

The £200m New Chinatown scheme, announced in 2015, was meant to include 800 homes and 200,000 sq ft of shops.

However, work was halted when the contractor went into administration.

In 2017, North Point Global, which was behind several other property developments including the £90m North Point Pall Mall residential development, announced it was pulling out of Liverpool.

North Point Global entered an insolvency arrangement in September 2017.

Pinnacle Angelgate, the company behind the Angelgate project in Manchester, went into administration in 2017.

According to a report from administrators Moore Stephens, about 70 buyers submitted reports outlining their concerns to UK Action Fraud.

Greater Manchester Police and the HMRC have been investigating the scheme.

Duncan Swift, a partner at Moore Stephens, said: “I am pleased to see an appropriate investigation into the Angelgate development, particularly considering the personal and financial hardship caused to the individuals affected”.

Developer Elliot Group has begun demolition of the part-built residential scheme on Pall Mall in Liverpool that it bought from the receivers of North Point Global in November.

Elliot Lawless of Elliot Group said: “We promised we’d get cracking as soon as possible and it’s great to see so many lads on site.”

“This is on the northern boundary of the business district and would make a natural extension for it so we’re examining the feasibility of office uses alongside hotel, leisure and residential provision and will seek the council’s views shortly.

“Whatever we collectively agree, it will be better than what came before and will create more jobs and infrastructure for the city.”

Source: The Business Desk

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