THE Government is poised to take legal action against a company that used TV and sports stars in a suspected £43million overseas property scam.
The Insolvency Service is understood to be about to launch disqualification proceedings against the bosses of Ocean View Properties, exposed by a long-running Sunday Express investigation more than two years ago.
The Staffordshire-based company, whose founders included a convicted fraudster, used the likes of England footballer Gareth Barry and TV property expert Martin Roberts to sell luxury off-plan apartments in Spain.
It took deposits worth about £80,000 each from British investors, but much of the cash disappeared as the homes failed to materialise.
Ocean View was placed into compulsory liquidation at the request of accountants Grant Thornton in 2009, while officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency were also understood to have begun their own probe.
Ocean View was founded by buy-to-let tycoon Colin Thomas in 2001. He marketed the properties using celebrities while his then friend, convicted conman Sean Woodhall, searched for opportunities for development on the Costa del Sol.
hen the sector collapsed amid corruption scandals in the Estepona region, the venture started to fail. Thomas and Woodhall had turned their attention to the Caribbean development of Punta Perla in the Dominican Republic.Woodhall, 43, went missing after his light aircraft crashed over Brazil in 2008 and while his body has never been recovered he has been declared dead. Thomas and his fellow directors have always denied wrongdoing.
In a separate but related development(PUNTA PERLA), a class action lawsuit to recover money on behalf of dozens of Ocean View victims was filed by a Spanish lawyer in Madrid on Friday(This is the lawsuit from Antonio – Lawbirds on behalf of Ollie Reel and almost 100 other investors who had enough!)