Exmount Construction lured amateur investors to part with their life savings with promises of high returns from property developments. But nothing was ever built; Exmount directors simply took the money and ran.
The Official Receiver has now been appointed liquidator of the company and will consider whether to take action against the directors in relation to their conduct and management of the company.
London-based Exmount produced a professional-looking brochure for potential investors, promising fixed returns of 9.12% for three-year bonds and 10.35% on five-year bonds. Once victims handed over their money however, they were unable to contact the company. An Insolvency Service investigation found that between March 2018 and July 2019, around £1.1m had been received by the company from would-be investors.
However, there was no record of any money being used for actual property investments. Around £800,000 was identified to have been withdrawn by the company directors, or paid to other third-parties.
The directors of Exmount Construction Limited refused to co-operate with investigators or contest the winding-up petition. Judge Briggs, speaking during the winding-up hearing, concluded the company “had traded in an objectionable manner”.
The Insolvency Service’s chief investigator, Edna Okhiria, said: “Exmount Construction Limited induced investors by providing false and misleading statements in sales and marketing material to part with substantial sums of money to invest in property bonds with the promise of generous returns. In reality, this was a scam and we urge potential investors to carry out rigorous due diligence to ensure they use their funds on legitimate investments.”