Finding Fraud – A look at two fraud case studies

Organiser: Pro Manchester
Location: Grant Thornton LLP, 4 Hardman Square, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3EB


Ian Richardson, Grant Thornton and Richard Healey, Howes Percival present two fraud case studies and examine the procedure of investigation and the subsequent outcomes.

Case Study 1 – Land banking is where property investment companies persuade investors to buy small plots of land in the hope that planning permission will be granted at some point in the future thereby significantly increasing the value of the land.

In reality there is no/very little development potential and it is very unlikely that planning permission would be granted in the future. The land is therefore virtually worthless.

Land banking fraud has steadily been increasing. In 2010 the FSA closed down 5 land banking firms who had lost investors £42m. The FSA is further investigating a further 20 firms and estimates that total losses through land banking fraud may amount to as much as £200m.

Richardson was appointed Joint Liquidator of a land banking company and will run through the investigations and litigation being undertaken as he seeks to recover the funds fraudulently obtained by the company.

Case study 2 – Healey's presentation is based on a real case which he has worked on where a company had been placed into administration by the court pursuant to an application made by a creditor in circumstances in which a fraud was suspected but nothing was proven.

Richard will consider the use that was made of the corporate recovery team working in tandem with the forensic team to evaluate by reference to the company's own records the causes of failure of the company and the basis of any claims that were available to the administrator and any subsequent liquidator.

He will then outline the claims that were brought and the outcome thereof.

Richardson is a director in Grant Thornton's Recovery & Reorganisation Practice, specialising in Fraud & Investigations.Ian has gained experience providing professional recovery services to clients in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, including a successful turnaround assignment and leading an outsourced bank recovery team. As well as professional roles, he has been CFO of a public unlisted company.

Healey has over 13 years of insolvency experience and is head of the Civil Interventions and Asset Recovery team within Howes Percival's Insolvency Group. Richard is responsible for managing teams in Manchester and Norwich. In particular Richard has, since 1999, had extensive experience of acting on behalf of the Crown as well as regularly acting for Insolvency Practitioners particularly in cases where there is an emphasis upon monies having been defrauded.

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