Press release

Insolvency Service investigation leads to shut-down of fake loans business

Two companies that ran a scheme that took large sums of money from businesses and provided nothing in return, have been wound up by the High Court following an investigation by Company Investigations, a part of the Insolvency Service.

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International Project Management Limited (IPL) and International Group Limited (IGL), which were both registered overseas and had no link with UK companies of the same or similar names, targeted property developers and builders looking for funding. The sole active director of both companies was Patrick O’Sullivan.

The companies, which, despite their overseas registration were based in Hampshire, claimed to have access to large amounts of money from offshore investors which could be made available to developers in return for payment of up front fees to cover “due diligence” and “administration”. After paying the fees, which could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, the clients were left empty-handed as the companies failed to provide any funding.

In several instances, clients were introduced to the companies by an ‘introducer’, Jones Taylor Estates Limited (itself wound up following an Insolvency Service investigation in February), who received a cut of the money paid over by the client. The client’s money was paid into the client account of John Swindell solicitors, who passed the money on to IPML’s bank account.

There was no evidence that IPML or IGL made any efforts to obtain funds for the clients; however, the funds received were swiftly divided up and distributed, with large amounts withdrawn in cash and the reminder shared between various individuals and businesses registered in Bulgaria.

Commenting on the action, David Hill, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:

These companies told clients would be able to secure loans for them. The reality was that they were aware this was never likely to happen.

The Insolvency Service will investigate and bring to a halt the activities of companies that mislead clients in this way and that are found to be operating against the public interest.

Notes to editors

International Project Management Limited (overseas company) was incorporated as a non-resident domestic company in the Republic of the Marshall Islands on 13 September 2006 with corporation number 20141. Its 100% shareholder and director is Patrick Donnell O’Sullivan. There is a second director Mr Cecil John Cooper Wynne-Edwards but he does not appear to have played an active role in the company.

International Group Limited (overseas company) was incorporated as a non resident domestic corporation in the Republic of Liberia on 16 March 1994 under the registration number C-74016. The only known director is Patrick Donnell O’Sullivan.

Both companies maintained a UK place of business at Suite A, The Chambers, 5A The Square, Petersfield, Hampshire GU32 3HJ.

In the case of both companies, the petition was presented under s124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 on 10 June 2014 and the Winding Up Order was made on 12 June 2015. Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). Further information about live company investigations 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.

All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT. Telephone: 0207 637 1110 Email: piu.or@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk.

Published 2 July 2015