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City of London Police arrests three in £1m land banking fraud

The City of London Police has arrested three men in connection with a £1m land banking fraud scheme involving City-based firms.

On Tuesday, one man was arrested in Bromley, another at a London office and the third was arrested at his home in Lewisham. All three were detained on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering and were later released on bail.

Staff at Brown Mackenzie, which is now in liquidation, and Lawrence Taylor & Co are believed to have cold-called investors and offered land for sale at sites in Scotland and Northampton.

During these calls, or in any subsequent prospectuses sent, investors are suspected of being misled about the potential of the land value to increase.

Detective inspector Andy Thompson says: “Since taking on this case we have moved very quickly to make these three arrests. Further action is anticipated in the coming weeks.

“It is now very important for anyone who has invested in land offered by these companies to contact us as soon as possible. Even the smallest pieces of information could prove crucial to our investigation.”

City of London Police believes people of all ages are being targeted with the promise of land increasing in value by up to 20 per cent. But they believe investors are being misled and the profits never materialise.

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