A land banking scam which raised £3.3m from investors has been wound up by the High Court following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
Four companies involved in the misselling of undeveloped land for investment to the public have been ordered into liquidation.
Complete Building Systems, Rawtenstall CBS, Evesham CBS and Hounslow West London were all wound-up on 18 December.
The firms sold plots of land to investors for between £4,500 and £15,000 each.
One site had been initially bought by a third party for £40,000 and divided into 165 plots, while another was initially bought for £45,000 and divided into 100 plots.
At least £3.3m was raised from the public, of which £1.4m was paid out in commission to sales staff.
Additionally payments were made to Christopher Shipton, the registered director of the four companies, totaling £627,000.
Insolvency Service company investigations supervisor Chris Mayhew says: “Investors were bullied and lied to by these rogue companies and their representatives to persuade them to invest in plots of land of negligible value.
“Some investors were falsely told that unless they bought more plots their existing plots would not be developed and would become recreational plots such as flower beds and they would then be charged maintenance by the local authority.
“In some cases particularly vulnerable investors, some suffering a form of physical or mental disorder, were cynically targeted and ripped off.”