The Financial Conduct Authority will to return £2.5m to investors a multi-million pound series of unauthorised collective investment schemes.
In a statement this morning (January 14) the regulator said it had obtained High Court approval for the funds to be returned to 573 qualifying investors.
Between 2005 and 2010 about 800 people invested £32.8m in Ucis operated by Countrywide Land Holdings, James Kenneth Maynard (trading as Regional Land and Countrywide Land Holdings) and Stephen Ronald Watkins (trading as Consolidated Land UK).
The regulator said the schemes involved the unlawful selling of plots of land.
The FCA recovered the £2.5m from the liquidation of a related Panamanian company, Paradigm Consultancy, and would return it to victims it has been able to identify after issuing a call-out to investors last February.
Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: "Investment promising high returns means there is a high risk investors will lose their money.
"Sadly, this is what happened here. We have worked very hard to identify people eligible to receive compensation from these schemes and are pleased to have been able to recover and return some of their money.
"We would like to thank the Metropolitan Police and Trading Standards for their assistance with this matter."
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