Two directors of the property firm Grosvenor Property Developers have been banned for a combined 25 years after abusing £7.7m in investor funds.
Sanjiv Varma and Jonathan England sold Bristol student accommodation off-plan, collecting the investments between February 2017 and January 2018 but failing to complete the construction.
Investigators upon the group’s liquidation in November 2018 found that funds had been diverted in accounts or companies connected to Varma, with £3.1m paid into a separate firm owned by the director in Dubai.
Moreover, more than £1.3m of the investments was used to fund travel, gifts, and designer clothing.
Further reports found that the group had never applied for planning permission at the site, and that the company never acquired the titles to the property.
The directors did not dispute that they had misappropriated investor deposits of over £6.5m through Grosvenor Property Developers.
In turn, Varma has received a 13-year director ban, while England has been disqualified for 12 years, commencing from 22 February 2021.
Karen Maxwell, deputy chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “Sanjiv Varma and Jonathan England fabricated an extensive renovation project to create student accommodation in Bristol, taking large deposits from investors with the promise of a high quality asset.
“Instead, Sanjiv Varma took millions from the company and Jonathan England did nothing to stop his co-director from spending their funds on international flights and designer clothing. Both have now been disqualified as company directors for a significant time period.”