Begbies Traynor, the administrator of collapsed Bolton property firm Harewood Associates, has now been appointed as liquidator to five companies linked to Harewood, as investigations into a missing £32m invested by 900 creditors continues.
Paul Stanley and Dean Watson of Begbies Traynor are now joint liquidators to Southworth Construction, Monmouth Regent Capital, Sherwood Homes, Harewood Venture Capital and Ramsay Investment.
These firms, which are described by the administrator as a “web of companies linked to Harewood, where funds were transferred both directly or via solicitors’ accounts”, owe a combined £40m to Harewood Associates. Between them, Sherwood Homes and Harewood Venture Capital, owe £36m.
Harewood, which was founded in 2010 and went into administration in June 2019, offered “returns of 8% more” on fixed period investments in regional housing developments.
One of the projects was the £1m redevelopment of the grade two-listed Hulme Hall in Allostock, Cheshire, which was brought to market for £2.5m after a 15-month refurbishment.
In total it is believed creditors lost, on average, £36,000 and that one in particular is almost £800,000 out of pocket as a result of the unregulated scheme run by directors, Peter and David Kiely. The directors are co-operating with the administrators.
Begbies Traynor said that it is “highly unlikely” that individual investor losses would be recovered.
Paul Stanley, regional managing partner of Begbies Traynor in Manchester, said: “We are making good progress to uncover what exactly happened to £32m of investors’ money.
“We demanded repayment [from the five linked companies] and petitioned the court to have some of the companies wound up. In order to allow transparency across the companies, we have been appointed as liquidators over these companies as well.
“These new appointments will give us legal access to bank accounts where money was moved through and over 200 solicitors’ files which were handled for the companies.
“Our role as administrators is to forensically analyse where the funds were moved around the web of companies connected to Harewood and to try and recover as much as we can for creditors.”
- Earlier versions of this story incorrectly named Paul Kiely as a director of these companies. He is not. We apologise for this error.