Belfast Telegraph

Financier's books to be probed over lost millions

Collapse: Gavin Woodhouse
Collapse: Gavin Woodhouse

By Simon Neville

Investors in a series of hotels and care homes, some of which were never built, have moved a step closer to finding out what happened to millions of pounds they handed over to financier Gavin Woodhouse.

Accountancy firm Duff & Phelps has been granted interim powers to go into Mr Woodhouse's Northern Powerhouse Developments to help find the missing millions.

The appointment follows an application to the High Court earlier this month by seven investors who had put money into companies owned by Mr Woodhouse, whose businesses were described by a judge as "thoroughly dishonest".

Before his empire came crashing down, Mr Woodhouse had promised huge returns for funding his MBI Hawthorn Care and MBI Clifton Moor companies, which were supposed to build care homes, though they never materialised.

He also persuaded investors to part with their cash to fund Afan Valley, which was supposed to build a £200m adventure resort in south Wales promoted by TV adventurer Bear Grylls.

Earlier this month Duff & Phelps took over the three companies and yesterday it was revealed they are now in control of the parent company behind Afan Valley, Northern Powerhouse Developments. The other two businesses were owned directly by Mr Woodhouse.

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