Property tycoon Colin Thomas ordered before Spanish courts

The money is long gone !!

The money is long gone !!

( – A subpoena is set to be served for Colin Thomas, of Town Hill, to appear in Madrid as a class action lawsuit against Spanish developer Ricardo Miranda Miret continues to rumble on in an effort to recover money on behalf of dozens of Ocean View Properties (OVP) victims.

The criminal claim for fraud and misappropriation of funds was lodged in a Madrid court last year and included Mr Thomas and other directors of his firm.

The prosecuting lawyer is seeking more than £6.5 million in damages for 70 claimants.

The firm took deposits worth around £80,000 each from British investors, but much of the cash disappeared as the homes failed to materialise, it is alleged.

Antonio Flores, the Spanish prosecuting lawyer from Marbella-based firm Lawbird, said: “We have requested that Colin Thomas specifically is summoned and quizzed.

“I don’t believe OVP knew anything about what was going on but they will be forced to talk in court.

“This was a scam of huge proportions. It has the potential of becoming one of the biggest property scams, as none of the developments will be built.” Mr Thomas’s company was behind a number of successful enterprises but ran into difficulties when it became involved as an agent for Spanish developer Ricardo Miranda Miret.

More than a thousand British investors who paid £45 million for off-plan overseas property developments have lost their money after the firm was formally dissolved in 2009 with the appointment of liquidators Grant Thornton.

The Madrid court claims are linked with developments that never materialised at the Estepona Country Club on the Costa del Sol and Punta Perla, in the Dominican Republic.

This comes after the Mail revealed that The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and Staffordshire Police would take ‘no further action’ following the collapse of OVP.

Last year, the Mail also revealed that 50- year-old Mr Thomas was banned from being a company director for nine years after an Insolvency Service investigation revealed that he had pocketed almost £14 million despite the firm being insolvent.

The findings also showed that his firm took £23 million from customers for a Spanish development that it did not own, did not have a building licence for and never undertook any construction work on.

Despite efforts by the Mail, neither Mr Thomas nor his advisors were unavailable for comment.

Related article:

Boardroom ban for £43m property flop Colin Thomas

( – Careering downhill at ­breakneck speed – we could very easily say the same of Michele de Havilland’s partner’s property ­business.

For eight years, Ocean View ­Property International told ­investors their money would be refunded if anything went wrong.

But founder Colin Thomas, 50, knew this was untrue and that no proper steps had been taken to safeguard deposits, the Insolvency Service found. It said: “OVPI led people to believe purchasing properties was virtually risk-free.”

Instead, two years ago, it went bust, owing £43million, after taking deposits of £80,000 from more than 1,000 investors, including former Scottish ­international ­footballer Matt Elliott.

The firm banked £23million for a Spanish ­development even though the site had not been purchased and building work never started.

Despite Ocean View being ­insolvent, Thomas trousered £13.8million and paid his partner Michele another £650,000, “although she had no professional qualifications and provided no tangible services”, according to the Insolvency Service. Thomas has been banned from running a company for nine years.

The couple, who live in a £1million house in Yoxall, Staffordshire, are regulars at the local Downhill Soapbox Race, which raises money for charity.

Well, that makes it OK, then……

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Colin Thomas, founding director of Ocean View Properties, is being investigated for fraud and misappropriation of funds over a Costa Del Sol holiday home scheme.

Sunday, February 20, 2011 | , ,

Ex-Aston Villa star Gareth Barry ‘victim’ of alleged holiday property firm crash – Sunday Mercury: “CRIMINAL case has been launched against the boss of a Midland property firm that went bust owing £43 million to investors – including soccer star Gareth Barry.
Colin Thomas, founding director of Ocean View Properties, is being investigated for fraud and misappropriation of funds over a Costa Del Sol holiday home scheme.
His Staffordshire firm marketed properties using images of celebrities including ex-Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry and BBC’s Homes Under The Hammer star Martin Roberts to sell luxury off-plan apartments, though neither benefitted in any way or had any knowledge of irregularities.
It is understood that midfielder Barry, now playing for Manchester City, also invested in the company, although it is unclear how much he put in.
A source close to the England star said: “The investors are all just chasing their money at the moment.”