Computer Crime Research Center


Landbanking scam on the Internet

Date: July 02, 2007

Three companies involved in selling plots of agricultural land to the public have been wound up in the High Court, following an investigation by the Companies Investigation Branch (CIB) of the Insolvency Service.

Townfield Land Investments Limited acquired agricultural land near Southwold in Suffolk under an option agreement with a local farmer. It was then marketed to the public by Libertas Land Limited, by sub-dividing the land into plots of 2,000 square feet at a price of around £9,000 per plot.

CIB's investigation revealed that the plots had been sold using the internet to at least 250 members of the public across the UK at some 50 times their agricultural value and furthermore, the site was inherently unsuitable for residential development. In particular, the site was within an area of outstanding natural beauty and a part of the Heritage Coast, where planning authority policy is not to permit development.
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