Thursday, 14 July 2016

Verto Homes due diligence on Crowdcube

Investors looking at the new Verto Homes pitch on Crowdcube should do some digging

Verto has two directors, both of whom were directors of a company that is being liquidated - Manor Rose Ltd. The company dealt with development land. Both directors had left the company before it appointed the liquidator but it would appear from the liquidator's report that 5 members of the company, which appears to be all the directors past and present, have been under investigation for fraudulent trading. This investigation has now concluded with various outcomes for the 5 individuals.

It appears that Paul Moore, the only active director when Manor Rose went into liquidation, has a history of fraud linked to land deals. Paul Moore joined Manor Rose after one of Verto Directors was in situ there. Moore is now a bankrupt and barred from taking directorships.

Verto raised £900k recently on Angels Den for 75% of the company here and are now looking for another £1m for 11.76% on Crowdcube. Of course there is no mention of Manor Rose on the Crowdcube pitch.

It is entirely possible that the Verto Directors are not amongst those named (A,B,C,D & E) in the report but they were most certainly directors of the company. So now you know. Id suggest someone asks them on the Crowdcube forum. Those interested might find this illuminating here and here is an exert -

The company marketed land and other investment opportunities to the public including the sale of shares in MR Investment Club Limited. The investigation revealed that its land banking business had raised at least £370,000 from the sale of land at the Cross Keys and Flax Lane sites (of which Mr Moore received £158,376); further that the company was also marketing carbon credits.
It appears that some £3,379,724 was generated by the company from the sale of carbon credits before being closed on 28 February 2012 as a result of the Service’s enforcement action. Further investigation revealed that in all Mr Moore received payments from the company totaling at least £478,995 between 15 March 2010 and 14 February 2012 and that an additional £576,703 was withdrawn in cash by him between 11 January 2011 and 28 February 2012.

The grounds for winding up the company (which were not opposed by the company save that it was asserted by its director Mr Moore that the company was unconnected with the Dakota companies and with Betta Build (NW) Ltd and or MRT Land Holdings Ltd or Boldacre Ltd) and did not cold call potential investors and should be wound up as unabale to pay its debts and not on grounds of public interest) were trading with a lack of commercial probity and operating an unauthorised collective investment scheme contrary to the prohibition in section 19 Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

Addition 20 July - it has been brought to our notice that Verto schemes in the South West had some issues with Funding Circle loans being repaid on time see here 

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