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600 investors in £20m Brazilian land bank scheme prepare legal action

More than 600 investors are preparing to take legal action to recover almost £20m invested in land in Brazil but which has now gone missing, according to reports.

On this morning’s BBC Today programme it was reported the investors typically paid £10,000 for a plot of land they thought was ripe for development, some of it near the World Cup destination of Fortaleza.

According to the report, many of the plots turned out to be scrubland worth barely £50 a plot.

Last year two separate operations, Pantheon Realty Consultants and Green Planet Investment Ltd, were shut down by the Insolvency Service.

Now the investors, many of whom face losing their life savings, have turned to London-based law firm Carter Lemon Camerons in a bid to recover the funds.

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Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Life savings invested into a Brazillian land bank?

    What’s that? it’s all gone pear shaped?

    Oh no! Who knew such a thing could happen? We’d better sue somebody!

    What? Those dodgy directors have put the company into liquidation , kept the money and have started a new company?

    Luckily we’ve got the IFA community to fall back on! those nice people will give us our money back! Just in time to invest into that new land bank firm based on the moon, that sound s a lot safer!

    All’s well that ends well!

  2. Sadly as Phil suggests – why are we even giving them space… ‘a fool and his money are easily parted’ and I am sure a nice solicitor will help encourage them to part with some more as well. That said, I hadn’t appreciated that the Swanny ran through Brazil?

  3. And how much will this legal action cost them on top of their investment?

  4. My initial reaction was similar, but then I thought, actually these people are victims of a disgusting fraud.

    Should someone ever invest a significant part of their life savings into a single high risk investment? No. But then that is easy for me to say, I’m an investment professional. For someone desperate for yield the promise of a nice safe investment in land, with the ‘underpin’ of world cup development, all supported by a lovely brochure was probably rather compelling.

    Was there an element of greed? Probably on behalf of some or even many of the investors, but definitely on behalf of the scum who ran this racket.

    I do not expect the compensation bill to fall on the IFA community and will be angry if it does, or indeed on any extra statutory body – it is difficult to see how the courts will intervene effectively since the companies have gone, but I do feel sorry for these people, and think that perhaps the Police ought to be taking more of an interest than they probably are.

    This is criminal activity, and nothing to do with investment, any more than selling a bridge ‘cheap’ to a passing mug would be – that for a while such things fell into our compensation lap is a disgusting travesty of justice, but that gullible individuals with insufficient knowledge, and eyes made large with greed fall for this type of con time and time again is a greater one.

    Sadly regulation cannot fix this since it is perpetrated by those who ignore regulation – it doesn’t matter how tough it is to get a licence if the corrupt don’t even try. These scandals will continue to happen – all we and our regulator can do is to ensure as far as possible that it isn’t the licensed advisory community which is involved, and that over time that community gains in trust and stature, so people come to us rather than some geezer with a plausible story.

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