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FSA secures High Court win against illegal land bank

by Michelle Abrego on Feb 11, 2013 at 13:15

FSA secures High Court win against illegal land bank

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has won a High Court victory against an illegal land banking firm.

The High Court declared that David Banner-Eve, Stuart Cohen, Asset Land Investments Plc and Asset L.I. ran an illegal land bank by operating a collective investment scheme without FSA authorisation.

The FSA said Banner-Eve and Cohen sold plots of land across the UK through companies that promised investors significant profits within two to three years when the land obtained planning permission and was sold.

Investors were also told by Asset Land sales staff that the company would apply for the land to be ‘re-zoned’ to assist with obtaining planning permission and there were property developers lined up to purchase the sites.

The FSA is aware of about 1,200 investors with some paying between £5,000 and £25,000 for each individual plot of land. 

No planning permission has been obtained for any of the site marked by Asset Land to date, said the FSA.

Following this judgment the FSA will seek orders from the High Court banning Banner-Eve and Cohen for life from selling interests in land banking schemes for business purposes in the UK, it said.

The regulator will also seek orders from the High Court for the payment of at least £15 million by Banner-Eve, Cohen and the Asset Land companies to return to investors.

The Honourable Justice Andrew Smith found that in giving evidence at the trial, Banner-Eve had been deliberately dishonest and that he knew about the claims his sales brokers were making to investors.

Cohen did not attend the trial and has not participated in the proceedings.

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5 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Hickky

Feb 11, 2013 at 13:56

Why ban these crooks from selling landbanks again? Why not ban everyone from selling landbanks as they are a con.

Why not send these rogues to jail?

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Short of Understanding

Feb 11, 2013 at 14:12

Although not pursued by the FSA by the looks of it, Banner-Eve appears to be a right classy operator by putting his daughter in ALI plc as a director without giving her any shares. The wife's also a director, but at least with some shares.

Many of the lower orders think that being a "director" is great status symbol rather than a sack full of liability. {put on spivvy east end accent} "Ver you go darlin', you can call yorsewf a diwector nah."

Down along the A13, where another property wheeze is unravelling, another Essex spiv has got 'is wife fronting up the board with his son.

The spirit of Chris Huhne seems to have infused the rogue population rather more than one might think.

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Anitaki

Feb 11, 2013 at 14:41

Now that the probe has dug into the Martian surface, to see what lies underneath, it is surely only a matter of time............

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Hickky

Feb 11, 2013 at 14:44

@Shorty

So here I am, looking down on a large tract of land fronting the A 13, a little snow still in the furrows still, but please tell more!

Buy the way old chap, Down is spelt 'Daahn' raand ere!

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Paul Howard via mobile

Feb 11, 2013 at 14:46

Question is why does the FSA have to do this (and therefore cost the industry money) surely it's a police matter - breaking the law and therefore a government cost?

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