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Fraud Office swoops on 19 properties in commercial loans fraud

The Serious Fraud Office has swooped on 19 properties and six suspects have been arrested in an international commercial loans fraud probe.

Five men and one woman have been arrested. Three suspects are being held in custody to appear before magistrates today.

The investigation relates to a suspected advance fee and commercial rent fraud.

Gresham Ltd and Gresham Finance (London) Ltd offered loans of up to £250m and applicants were charged between £5,000 and £50,000 for due diligence checks. Applicants were then asked to pay a security deposit of between 1 and 5 per cent of the loan amount.

Most of the applications were from overseas commercial projects for resorts and hotels in Austria, Turkey and other countries.

The searches of residential and commercial properties in London, Surrey, Cheshire and Derbyshire involved more than a hundred investigators and police officers.

The SFO says the swoop was intended to prevent further losses to the victims.

The SFO says the same suspects were involved in a retail property renting business operating as Gresham Ltd, Park Regent Ltd and Castlereagh London.

The suspects also used a complex array of company names in their dealings, including 45 Oxford St Ltd, Alliance Trust, Renaissance Trust, Cutting and Company (Investments) Ltd and Paul Street Media Ltd.

The Fraud Office points out there is no connection with Gresham Finance Ltd or Castlereagh Ltd of Dublin,which are not under investigation.

The SFO also points out that Alliance Trust is not to be confused with the Alliance Trust Plc, the FTSE 100 firm, which is an unconnected company and also not under investigation.


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There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Regarding the RBS directors wanting to resign.

    Let them resign, & make sure they do not get a lump sum & they forfeit their pension rights.

    the RBS has cost the public purse Billions! let them go most probably save us millions.

  2. When did the RBS directors make it a part of their contract that they would only work if they were able to distribute huge bonus’?
    Let them resign, there will be plenty more takers for the jobs.

  3. William Kingsley 3rd December 2009 at 3:25 pm

    So RBS want to continue with a business model that lost them significant amounts of money and pay large bonuses to ‘good’ people…I could lose them lots of money and wouldn’t be as expensive as these London boys! No problem with big bonuses if the people deliver big results – problem is RBS haven’t delivered big results.

  4. Bonus payments should be earned out of profits – it is tantamount to theft to pay them out of losses or funds provided by Government.
    It is normal practice in ethically manaaged companies to reward effort at the year end in proportion to what is left in the kitty,and not from overdrafts at tax payers expense..This principle should apply to Bankers and Directors
    of all Companies.

  5. Regarding the SFO arrests of those concerned with Gresham Ltd’s alleged advance fee fraud, a later press release names Edward Davenport and Peter Riley, who were both remanded in custody until 2nd February. Merry Xmas!

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