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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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Hi, In August 2011, I invested £25,000 in a company called

Resolved Question:

Hi,
In August 2011, I invested £25,000 in a company called Ethical Land UK Limited, for farming in Africa. They were supposed to train farmers on a hub farm, and set them up on farms surrounding the hub, and supply them with farming equipment, seeds etc. I was supposed to receive 50% of the net returns, on the crops produced. I received one payment, in 2012, but since then, I have not received any payments, or heard anything since February 2013. I am unable to get any response to my emails, and have not been able to contact the director that was running the enterprise. I have not been chasing it before, partly because the farms were supposed to have been in the Democtratic Republic of the Cong, and there were serious troubles there, in 2012. My last contact with the British director, was in February 2013, when he told me, that they had managed to get the farming equipment, out of the Congo, and were going to set up the farming in Tanzania. I have been the victim fraud, concerning several scams, including carbon credits, and rare earth metals. The broker, a Patrick Boyce, at Alternative Acquisitions Limited, who sold me this farming investment, also sold me £20,000 worth, of gold bullion. He ceased trading, and disappeared with my money, and no trace of any gold. Since he was obviously a criminal, I think this farming may also have been a scam. I am in the process of trying to establish, whether a farming project was actually set up in the Congo, or not.

I reported the fraud over the gold bullion, to Action Fraud but nothing appears to have been done about it. I also need to chase this up, but thought I would try and find out if the farming with Ethical Land is a fraud first. I am in the process of contacting the British Ambassador, in the Congo, to try and find out if he did in fact have a meeting with the director, before I go back to the police, about the gold as something should have been done about that.

The other reason, I have not been chasing this up before, is because, with all the stress caused, finding out that all my investments were scams, that people I trusted had lied, and deceived me. Plus with all the witness statements, I have had to give all the different police forces, dealing with it, and insolvency reports, plus my seious financial loss, has caused me depression and made me quite ill.

The company Ethical Land Uk Limited, is still listed as "Active," but they have not submitted any accounts, and there is a proposal to "Strike off" on the Companies House web site. I read that, if you wanted to go to the County Court, and get a charge put on a director's property, it gets more difficult to do this, if the company is struck off.

Q (1) Is this true? Can you tell me, if you believe the director, of a small limited company, registered in the UK, may be guilty of fraud or at least bad practice, does it become more difficult, to pursue a claim, against the director of a company, if Companies House strikes the company off?

Q (2) Does it get more difficult for the police to investgate them, if they are struck off?

Q (4) If you suspect a director, of a limited company, is guilty of fraud, is it possible to get a CCJ against their property?

Q (5) If so, how long do they give you to prove they are guilty of fraud?

Q (6) Can you get a CCJ for £25,000 put on a property?

Q (7) Can you give me any idea of how much it would cost to get a CCJ?

Q (8) Could the director, who I would be accusing of being guilty of suspected fraud, sue me for deformation of character, and slander, if he was not guilty?

I have contacted Companies House and asked them to suspend the "Strike off" of Ethical Land Uk Limited. They have given me two weeks to come up with evidence against the company.

I do hope you can answer my questions, and would be very grateful for any guidance and help.

I am still not sure, that this is a fraud, although my brother is absolutely convinced it is. If I find it is a fraud, and I go to the police, I am not certain they will even investigate it.

Finally, if it is a fraud, and if you say I could get a CCJ, and if I could afford go ahead with it, how would I set about it?

Hoping you can help?
Many thanks
Kind Regards
Wendy Furness
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 2 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, thanks for your question.

tdlawyer :

My name is ***** ***** I can answer your questions.

tdlawyer :

1. It's possible to sue a director if he is using the company as a shield for fraud. You have to show that it was not a genuine business and was set up to hide him from fraudulent activity. You have to show this on the balance of probabilities, but the court is usuaully slow to assume fraud, and will start off on the premise it was likely a normal business investment.

tdlawyer :

2. No more or less difficult for the police to investigate if company is struck off.

tdlawyer :

4. See 1 above.

tdlawyer :

5. You need to be able to plead and evidence a claim when you issue it really. You have six years normally from when yu discover the fraud to bring a claim. The rules can be complex here, but this is a general rule of thumb.

tdlawyer :

6. If you get a CCJ, you can secure it against property in the UK, yes.

tdlawyer :

7. Impossible to say what the costs of a trial like this could be, they could be substantial, perhaps £50k or more, it's very difficult to say. However, if you're not the only one that has been subject to a fraud, others might be able to get group together and help out. Of course, you don't know for sure whether there is a fraud, so you need to liaise with the police and consider whether you might want to hire private detectives etc.

tdlawyer :

8. If you accuse the Director of fraud and he hasn't been committed fraud, then yes, he could sue you for defamation.

tdlawyer :

As for companies house and strike off, it's difficult to say what you might need to show them, but if the company is struck off, it can always be restored later by court order. Presumably, you could show the company was trading, or receiving monies, and that might prevent it being struck off. Or, and speak to companies house to check this, I think you could present a winding up petition against the company for the money it owes you, which should stop the strike-off too, and the court can appoint a trustee to investigate the company's and directors actions.

tdlawyer :

You would benefit from speaking to a commercial litigation solicitor that might consider helping you, perhaps on a no-win no-fee basis.

Customer:

Hi Tony,

tdlawyer :

Hello!

Customer:

Do I need to get a commercial litigation lawyer to draw up a winding up petition against the company for the money it owes me?

tdlawyer :

Ideally, you should get somebody to go through this with you in proper detail, so I would suggest yes. In truth though, you could do it yourself.

tdlawyer :

I suppose you should ask yourself whether it's likely to oppse the petiton. If you're concerns are right, then perhaps it will not. In which case, you might consider doing it youself.

tdlawyer :

That said, I would always encourage people like yourself to get professional advice and help with things like this, they have the potential to become very complicated.

Customer:

I am sorry I do not understand "oppse the petition" is this a typo?

tdlawyer :

Sorry, it's a typo. "Oppose" the petition.

tdlawyer :

So will the director or his lawyers turn up to seek to challenge your right to present the petition.

Customer:

How should I do a winding up petition? Who would I present it to? what would it cost?

tdlawyer :

You present it to the High Court, by putting together a petition and grounds for winding up. It's impossible for me to tell you on here how to do that because it depends on some of the detail of the underlying case, and this is why really you should be getting a solicitor to look at it.

Customer:

Tony, Thank you very much for your help. Would I be better going to a local solicitor?

tdlawyer :

To draft the petition etc., then yes, because they need to sit down with you and go through your papers about why you say it's all a fraud etc. and understand your case before puting pen to paper and preparing a petition for you.

tdlawyer :

They can also look into other options, such as the appointment of a provisional liquidator.

tdlawyer :

This is where the court will appoint a liquidator immediately, to secure assets/money of the company.

Customer:

Thank you for helping me.

tdlawyer :

You're very welcome. I do hope you manage to get your money back.

tdlawyer :

Can I just ask whether you're happy with my service this evening please?

Customer:

Signing out

Customer:

Wendy

tdlawyer :

Wendy, can I just ask whether you're happy with my service this evening please?

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Category: Law
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Experience: 11 years experience of general practice.
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