SFO launches money-laundering investigation into £150m leasehold investments schemes

After a dawn raid, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office launched a fraud-and-money laundering investigation into two companies. These companies are suspected of misleading investors by funnelling around £150m in fraudulent leasehold schemes throughout the country.

Investigations are underway into a group of Alpha-branded companies that fraudulently misled investors to purchase leaseholds for student accommodation between 2014 and 2019.

A group of Green Park-branded businesses is believed to have operated a similar scheme in Devon for holiday accommodation leaseholds during the same time.

The companies promised investors returns of 8-10% on their investments over the first ten years after they joined the schemes.

Over 1500 investors came from over 50 countries to take advantage of the guaranteed returns. They collectively invested an estimated £150m in the leasehold schemes, but they stopped receiving any returns by 2018.

The SFO stated that the schemes were thought to have stuffed the pockets of Alpha and Green Park’s directors with approximately £20m.

Mick Gallagher, the chief investigator of the SFO, called on anyone having a connection with the investigation to come forward. The watchdog is currently in contact with UK-based investors involved in the schemes.

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