Hunt for £30m as plug is pulled on flats linked to charity conman
Buyers’ fury after investing up to £500k
A luxury development linked to charity fraudster Tony Freeman has gone bust af ter taking £30million in payments from buyers.
Investors from across the world sank their life savings into the proposed Angelgate project, which was being developed by Pinnacle Alliance.
Pinnacle, who Glaswegian Freeman worked for as a consultant, had planned to build 344 apartments in Manchester.
But not a single brick has been laid on the site since its launch in 2015, even though completion was planned for earlier this year.
Now administrators have pulled the plug on the Angelgate project as a hunt begins for the investors’ missing millions.
Freeman, 50, from Newton Mearns, was jailed for 18 months in 2006 for defrauding his fundraising firm of £450,000 days before they went bust.
Pinnacle, who are still trading, are also the subject of separate police and HMRC investigations.
Last week a liquidator was appointed to try to get buyers their money back.
Many paid up to 80 per cent of the asking price to secure their plot and as much as £ 500,000 in deposits.
Angel gate were put into administration following a court action by a buyers’ group set up to try to recover their money.
University lecturer James es Sexton, 38, from Manchester, who is heading the Angelgate action group, lost £109,000.
He said: “We can hopefully secure the assets and, if possible, investigate the whereabouts of the projectt money and minimise our losses.s.
“If any action can be takenen against the directors and other her parties involved, the buyers rs would welcome it.”
In September last year, after er continued delays with work, 73 buyers reported the firm to the he UK’s Action Fraud agency. Thereere were even demonstrations by investors in Hong Kong.
The case was passed on to Greater Manchester Police and d then taken over by Titan, the Regional Organised Crime Unit for the north-west of England.
Titan said: “There have been a number of referrals from different police forces concerning investment fraud.”
Duncan Swift, of administrators Moore Stephens, said: “We want to hear from those who invested in Angelgate and any developers who have an interest in seeing the development completed.”
In July, the offices of Pinnacle in Manchester and a home in Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, were raided by HMRC. A 50-year-old man and his wife, 37, were arrested at the house and released later that day after questioning.
An Angelgate spokeswoman said: “We will endeavour to work with and help the appointed administrator in any way they require to complete the build.”
Freeman’s Paisley-based firm Solutions RMC raised £13million for two charities over seven years – but only £1.5million went to the groups. He also paid himself £170,000 a year.
After his release from jail in 2007, Freeman set up in business in Manchester. He could not be reached for comment.
Buyers would welcome action against the firm’s directors
BUST The Angelgate project in Manchester LIFE OF LUXURY Fraudster Tony Freeman, left, enjoys a first-class flight