Mehmet Husnu (also known as Matt Hudson) and Ali Seytanpir (also known as Alex Townsend) ran OFG Investments Ltd and GIG Properties Ltd, which marketed and sold plots of land belonging to another company on a former World War II airfield in Devon. The plots were sold to unsuspecting investors, on the basis that they were suitable for development and had a good chance of achieving planning permission, which was not true – the local authority plan for the area would not allow the sort of developments the firms promoted.
According to the investigation from the Official Receiver, between December 2010 and December 2011 the companies conned investors into handing over more than £2.2m for the plots of land. The scam involved the agreement of the actual owner of the land, and saw Husnu and Seytanpir retain as commission more than 85% of the proceeds of the scam.
Husnu has been disqualified as a director for 14 years, while Seytanpir has been disqualified for 12 years.
The firms ceased trading when a freezing order was brought against them, and the company that owned the land, in December 2011 by the-then regulator, the Financial Services Authority. This followed complaints from members of the public about calls they had received from OFG’s ‘brokers’.
Anthony Hannon, Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit, said: “As with all the other land banking companies that the Official Receiver has dealt with over many years, these companies have brought misery to unsuspecting members of the public, who were persuaded to part with their savings in exchange for virtually worthless plots of land.
“The company was run entirely for the benefit of the directors and salespeople, at substantial cost to the investors who had been misled and have lost their money in what was never a realistic investment. In all our years of dealing with land banking scams we have not seen a single piece of land that has been sold in this way actually go on to obtain planning permission.”