Directors banned over £12m property investments

Directors banned over £12m property investments
Gareth Fuller/PA

Six directors have been banned after they misled more than 300 people to invest £12m into residential property developments.

Kien Cheong Yew, Ameerali Bin Abas, Andrea Nicole Pacquiao Pieter, Adrianne Mei Kwan Nyau, Chi Yeun Leong, and Daniel Mark Harrison were banned for a total of 54 years following an investigation from the Insolvency Service into property development company Absolute Living Developments Limited.

The company sold apartments off-plan in England-based residential property schemes that were in various states of development.

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It is estimated Absolute Living secured at least £12m from investors who were largely based in Asia.

But people complained that having invested through Absolute Living, the developments had not been fully completed and the apartments were unlivable.

Absolute Living was wound up in April 2016 after a petition by Bradford Council due to unpaid rates.

Investigations focused on four developments, three in Bradford and one in Manchester, and discovered various examples of misconduct by the firm facilitated by the directors. 

For instance the developer had provided misleading and incomplete information about the developments to investors, meaning people couldn’t carry out due diligence, the Insolvency Service stated.

For one of the developments, the developer had requested completion payments from investors despite the development not being completed, it alleged.

And the company had signed charges over Absolute Living Developments’ assets, which meant a third party owned them and there were no remaining assets in the liquidation to pay creditors.

Ken Beasley, official receiver for the Insolvency Service, said: "This was a complex investigation, considering the amount of money that was invested, not all of the directors were based in the UK and we worked with several other authorities.

"We want to draw attention to these rogue directors so we can alert people about the risks involved when investing, while also warning that we will investigate and tackle those that set out to deliberately rip people off by misrepresenting the investment opportunity on offer."

Four of the directors banned were based in Malaysia, while the remaining two lived in the Wirral and North West London, respectively.

Mr Harrison, from Kilburn, was the last of the directors to be disqualified after he was banned for six years through a court order on November 28, 2018.

During Mr Harrison’s hearings, the court heard Absolute Living Developments Limited was incorporated in November 2013, with registered offices in Liverpool.

The company had sought out investments to convert commercial buildings into residential properties.

But the Insolvency Service alleged Absolute Living had no ability to ensure the terms of contracts with investors could be met and had failed to provide adequate safeguards for money obtained from investors.

An independent insolvency practitioner has been appointed in this case to investigate the recovery of assets for the benefit of creditors.

The liquidator’s actions are ongoing and to date its has received claims from creditors in excess of £68m.