The former managing director of Land Banking has been disqualified as a director for seven years following an investigation by Companies Investigation Branch.
Timothy Wren, from Omskirk, and his company purchased agricultural land then divided the plot into smaller strips for re-sale, often at inflated values, on the basis that planning permission to develop the land was very likely to be granted resulting in a "10 fold increase in value" for investors.
The company commenced trading in November 2005 before being ordered into liquidation in February 2008.
Land Banking raised over £3.5m from the sale of over 300 plots of land on five sites at Grassmoor, Chesterfield; Knowsley, Merseyside; Marsh Lane, Nantwich; Willaston, Nantwich; and Lower Tean, Uttoxeter.
Wren accepted the misconduct identified by CIB's investigation made him unfit to be a company director, including that he had caused or allowed the company to:
- Misrepresent to purchasers of land that a "planning services disbursement", for which they each paid a £500, would be paid into a bank account and held on trust. No such arrangements were ever in place
- Enter into borrowing arrangements before receiving the Companies House certificate allowing the company to do so
- Continue to sell plots already sold, despite an undertaking to cease doing so
- Fail to keep proper accounting records
- Paid £300,000 "drawings" to himself in addition to his "wages" of £50,000 in contravention of section 263 of the Companies Act 1985
- Make misleading statements on its website