A company director who misled consumers into parting with at least £1.7m for small plots of land of little value has been banned for 14 years.
Eren Metcalfe, formerly known as Eren Cemal Ibrahim, ran the landbanking scam through his three companies, but has now been banned by The Insolvency Service.
According to a statement from The Insolvency Service, Mr Metcalfe, 26, of Woodford Green, was the sole director of Natural Wealth Solutions Ltd, Proctor Capital Ltd and Land Security Management Ltd, which were wound up by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills after an investigation by The Insolvency Service.
The companies’ salespeople represented the plots of land they marketed as being suitable for development and having a realistic prospect of obtaining planning permission.
But the land had little, if any, value for development and was sold at mark-ups of between 18 and 63 times the purchase price an acre.
Paul Titherington, Official Receiver at The Insolvency Service’s public interest unit, said: “In over seven years of dealing with landbanking scams I have not seen a single piece of land that has been sold in this way actually go on to obtain planning permission.
“Every single customer has lost their money in what was a horrendous investment.”
The land included sites at Rubery in the West Midlands and Stokenchurch in Buckinghamshire, which are all within Green Belt Landscape Protection Areas.
Mr Metcalfe’s disqualification means he cannot act as a director of a company, act as an insolvency practitioner or take part in the promotion, formation or management of a company during the period.