A DISQUALIFIED director has told a criminal court in Spain that his company’s alleged role in an £11.2 million overseas scam is ‘unfounded’.
Colin Thomas, of Town Hill, Yoxall, set up Ocean View Properties (OVP), which is accused of defrauding customers of hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost deposits.
OVP sold off-plan apartments at the planned luxury Estepona Beach and Country Club, near Marbella, on the Costa del Sol, for Spanish development company Sun Golf.
But the land was never owned by Sun Golf and work never began.
Millionaire Thomas told the court police had investigated OVP and that no irregularities were detected.
He insisted that his company, Ocean View Properties International Limited (OVPIL), acted only as a selling agent for the main Spanish-registered Ocean View Properties, a parent company.
Mr Thomas, who is in his early 50s, claimed problems arose solely when Spanish developer Sun Golf, owned by the main accused Ricardo Miranda, did not build properties.
The court heard that OVPIL received almost £30 million, of which £12 million was transferred to Sun Golf via OVP Spain. The remainder was used to cover commissions to agents, general costs and maintenance.
Mr Thomas repeated OVP’s claim that Sun Golf never refunded any of the amounts he received.
When asked about the signature of an OVP employee acknowledging receipt of letters from Miranda concerning problems with planned developments, Mr Thomas said this was a false document and that his company was never alerted.
He refused to reply to any of the questions of the lawyers of the plaintiffs.
OVP secretary David Stewart, a Staffordshire businessman, said he was not involved in any decision making.
Former OVPIL director John Parkes, from Birmingham, failed to appear.
Developer Miranda told the judge that he made OVP aware of all the problems of the Estepona development, but claimed OVP said he should go ahead, and that he refunded the money received.
More than 1,000 British investors, who paid a total of £45 million for ‘off-plan’ overseas property developments, lost their money when OVP was dissolved.
All of the accused have previously strenuously denied any wrongdoing.