15 year disqualification order for director of land banking company which took advantage of vulnerable people
Dominic Peter Jakubowski, has been disqualified as a director for 15 years following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, for his role in Newville Developments Limited, a London-based company, which conducted a land banking scam connected to The Property Partnership.
The investigation found that Newville Developments Limited, also known as Summit Land, cold-called vulnerable members of the public and misled them into purchasing plots of land within the green belt - including an area of outstanding natural beauty - for more than 6 times their original purchase price. At least 5 plots of land were sold in this way, netting the company in excess of £156,000.
The disqualification follows investigation by the Official Receiver of the Public Interest Unit, a specialist team of the Insolvency Service, whose involvement commenced with the winding up of the company in the public interest in 2013.
In spite of the misleading sales pitch, there was no likelihood of development taking place on any of these sites. To keep investors from discovering the truth, the company’s sales team repeatedly provided customers with misleading information designed to give false expectations. Amongst the papers seized from the desks of Newville’s salesmen were written notes from their calls to prospective victims, which indicate the callousness of their activities, such as:
Receptive man, will have to bully him into making the deal…90 yrs old doesn’t want to gamble. But open-minded. Due for pacemaker replacement this week. Call bk next week.
In addition, Mr Jakubowski failed to maintain, preserve or deliver up the accounting records for the company, preventing the Official Receiver from establishing whether the company had additional investors or hidden assets.
Commenting on this case Paul Titherington, Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit, said:
Company directors enjoy the privilege of limited personal liability but if they run a business in a way that is detrimental to its customers, then they can expect to have that privilege taken away from them.. The Insolvency Service will investigate such individuals and seek to remove them from the business environment.
The Insolvency Service is determined to come down hard on directors who set out to rip people off by deliberately misrepresenting the investment opportunity on offer.
The disqualification regime exists to protect the public. Mr Jakubowski’s disqualification from 23 September 2015 means that he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until 23 September 2030.
Notes to Editors
Newville Development Limited (Company No. 07320635) was incorporated on 20 July 2010 and traded as Summit Land. Its trading address was at 1 Cresswell Park, Blackheath, London SE3 9RD.
The petition to wind up the company was presented by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovations and Skills in the public interest following an investigation conducted by Company Investigations (Live), another specialist unit within the Insolvency Service which uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 (as amended) to conduct confidential enquiries into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovations & Skills (BIS). The winding up order against Newville Developments Limited was made on 13 March 2013.
On 2 September 2015, in the High Court of Justice, Registrar Derrett ordered that Dominic Peter Jakubowski be disqualified for a period of 15 years. The period of disqualification will commence on 23 September 2015.
A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:
- act as a director of a company
- take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
- be a receiver of a company’s property
In addition that person cannot act as an insolvency practitioner and there are many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations. Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions is available.
The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.
Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.
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Published: 11 September 2015
From: The Insolvency Service