Land banking scam directors disqualified for 12 years

Two Swiss-based company directors who deceived UK investors into paying more than £5 million in a ‘land-banking’ scam have been disqualified as directors for 12 years, following a Government investigation.

The former directors of Hambrook & Greenstock AG (in liquidation), Andres Schenker and Claudia Daxelhoffer, have signed disqualification undertakings after inquiries by the Insolvency Service’s Companies Investigation Branch (CIB) revealed a pattern of unfit conduct.

The company sold plots of greenfield land to UK investors at three sites at Sible Hedingham, Marlow, and Chalford. The company bought the land for just over £600,000. Some 750 plots were then sold to investors for £5 million.

The investors were told that the land would receive planning consent for development and would increase dramatically in value. That permission was never granted and the plots have remained undeveloped.

Business minister Ian Lucas said: “This sends a strong message to company directors who deceive and rip-off members of the public: we will investigate and take firm action against you.