The Spitfire Partnership LLP, a company which falsely promised investors up to 78 per cent profit in two years in a scheme purporting to convert an old maggot farm to an eco-friendly waste transfer facility, has been ordered into liquidation by the High Court on grounds of public interest.
The order follows an investigation by Company Investigations of The Insolvency Service.
The investigation found that The Spitfire Partnership LLP (Spitfire) made false promises when selling membership of an investment scheme whose sole purpose was to purchase and develop a former maggot farm at Dring Lane, near Gainsborough, Lincolnshire into a waste transfer station.
At least seven mainly older investors were persuaded to part with more than 100,000 by the time of the investigation.
The investigation also found that:
the company was never authorised by the Financial Services Authority to promote or offer such investments in the United Kingdom;
Spitfire had allowed its sales agent, LAPG Limited (now in liquidation) to mislead the public with representations which were untrue or highly speculative in order to obtain funds for Spitfires benefit;
one mail-shot sent out by the company claimed investors could turn 12,000 into 20,000 in under two years; and,
The company claimed incorrectly, that planning consent was already in place.
LAPG Limited took 60 per cent of any money invested in the project as commission and the expenses of those controlling Spitfire took most of the remainder so that no funds remained to take forward the project.
The Official Receiver has been appointed by the court and will now conduct further investigations.
Company Investigations Supervisor, Geoff Hanna said:
This is another example of unscrupulous and unregulated entities inducing investors to part with funds on the promise of unbelievably high returns on land development that are highly unlikely to materialise.
People need to be on guard and do their own careful research into any claims made regarding the ownership, development potential and financial viability of such projects.
This outcome sends a clear message that The Insolvency Service will continue to clamp down on any corporate entity which deliberately misleads the public in this way, particularly older investors.