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Rogue developers banned for £12m 'rip off'

Six directors have been banned for a total of 54 years after misleading more than 300 people into investing £12m into residential developments.

Four directors from Malaysia and two from the UK were sanctioned for their involvement in Absolute Living Developments following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Malaysia-based Kien Cheong Yew was hit with a 12-year ban, while Ameerali Bin Abas, Andrea Nicole Pacquiao Pieter and Chi Yeun Leong, also from Malaysia, have each been barred for nine years.

Adrianne Mei Kwan Nyau, 40, from the Wirral has also been banned for nine years and Daniel Mark Harrison, 38, from Kilburn, London was disqualified for six.

Absolute Living Developments sold apartments in the North of England off-plan to investors who were predominantly based in Asia.

The Insolvency Service estimated that the business was able to secure at least £12m for schemes in various stages of development.

However, complaints were raised by investors after they discovered developments had not been fully completed and apartments were unliveable.

The business was wound-up in April 2016 due to unpaid rates and the investigations that followed found various examples of misconduct by Absolute Living Developments facilitated by the directors.

These included supplying misleading and incomplete information about the developments to investors, which stopped them carrying out due diligence.

It was also discovered that Absolute Living Developments had no ability to ensure the terms of contracts with investors could be met and failed to provide adequate safeguards for the cash raised.

At one development the company requested completion payments from investors even though the project not been completed.

As Absolute Living Developments’ assets were sold to a third party, there are no remaining assets in the liquidation to pay creditors.

The Insolvency Service said an independent insolvency practitioner had been appointed to investigate recovery of assets for the benefit of creditors.

The liquidator’s work is ongoing but they currently have received claims from creditors in excess of £68m.

Official Receiver for the Insolvency Service Ken Beasley said: “This was a complex investigation, considering the amount of money that was invested, not all of the directors were based in the UK and we worked with several other authorities.

“We want to draw attention to these rogue directors so we can alert people about the risks involved when investing, while also warning that we will investigate and tackle those that set out to deliberately rip people off by misrepresenting the investment opportunity on offer.”

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