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Businessman investigated over care home investment scheme

He promised 125% returns in 10 years

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The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is investigating an individual named Gavin Woodhouse alongside individuals and companies associated with him.

It is looking into investments offered into care homes and hotels between 2013 and 2019.

The case follows a 2019 investigation by British newspaper The Guardian and television network ITV, which discovered that Woodhouse managed to raise more than £80m ($109m, €93m) from “amateur investors”.

The money was supposed to be used to build care homes and refurbish hotels.

According to the newspaper, Woodhouse offered people the opportunity to invest in a room, and in return they would get 10 yearly dividends of about 10% of the original sum.

At the end of the period, the rooms were to be bought back at 125% of the purchase price.

But five years after the scheme was rolled out, none of the promised projects were operational and three were never built.

At the same time, some of the money invested was moved from the company running the projects to other parts of Woodhouse’s business.

The SFO now suspects the investment scheme to be fraudulent and involved in money laundering.

Ithas asked UK-based investors who participated in it to complete a questionnaire by the end of September 2021 to help with the investigation.

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