THEY promised residents a new life in the sun.
But now the twin brothers behind a Blackpool-based property company have been banned from acting as directors after an official investigation found the holiday homes they promised never materialised.
Paul and Peter Aspden, both 52, ran multi-million pound firm Independent Property Consultants (IPC) from their base on Blackpool Business Park, selling properties in Bulgaria, Cape Verde and Spain.
They claimed to be offering properties in four Bulgarian developments and took £1.5m from clients.
An Insolvency Service investigation – launched after complaints from clients – discovered those homes never materialised.
Clients had also handed over £1m for apartments in the Sal Vista resort development in Cape Verde which they never got their hands on.
The investigation also concluded IPC failed to protect the customers’ money, meaning there is £643,244 of clients’ cash which investigators cannot find, the Insolvency Service said.
At the High Court Chancery Division Manchester District Registry, Paul and Peter, who are originally from the Fylde coast but now live in Cape Verde, were disqualified from acting as directors for 11 years after 12 months of court proceedings.
Ken Beasley, official receiver at the Insolvency Service’s Public Interest Unit, said: “The Aspden brothers were responsible for significant financial losses suffered by members of the public who never received the foreign properties they paid for.
“By handing down 11-year disqualifications, the Court has shown that such conduct by directors will not be tolerated.
“The Insolvency Service will take tough action to put a stop to companies trading against the public interest and we will seek to remove culpable directors from the business environment.”
IPC, which specialised in off-plan development, also had offices in Scarborough, Spain, Bulgaria and Crowthorn and traded for more than two decades, but was only incorporated in 2004.
It was wound up by the courts on the grounds of public interest and was found to have no assets and an estimated deficiency to creditors of £2,573,933.
The brothers’ disqualification starts on April 4.
In the version of this story which appeared in The Gazette, we used an incorrect photograph of one of the brothers.
Instead of using a photograph of Peter Aspden we used an archive photograph of Mr Peter Savic.We apologise unreservedly to Mr Savic for any distress and embarrassment caused by our error.