A commercial property developer from Lancashire has been convicted of defrauding seven investors in deals exceeding £1.3m.
Shaun Kiely, 43, auctioned a string of unprofitable small retail shops claiming them to be viable and profitable business opportunities. He will be sentenced on July 4.
Kiely, a director and shareholder of development and real estate business Sky Properties (Northern) and of retail outlet S-Mart Stores Plc was yesterday found guilty at Preston Crown Court of obtaining money transfers by deception and of false accounting.
A second defendant, Christopher Page, 44, a former manager at both companies, was acquitted after being charged with obtaining money transfers by deception.
The case was referred to the Serious Fraud Office in 2007 and the defendants were charged in April 2009. The trial opened at Preston Crown Court on 11 April 2011.