Directors charged over £88m car leasing scheme

Two company directors of leasing company Buy2Let Cars have been charged over allegedly defrauding investors out of £88m

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) charged Reginald Larry-Cole and Scott Martin with fraud after it claimed that Buy2Let Cars was providing false information to investors and getting them to invest when the number of cars stated did not exist.

The investors were told that their investments were going towards brand-new cars, including Hyundai, Toyota and Vauxhall models, that were to be leased out and they were promised a high percentage return.

A group named the B2L Investor Help has been established as a point of contact for investors to be notified of any updates and advice on the next steps.

The scheme was advertised heavily on TV, radio and newspapers. The pair would also host free events which were marketed as investment seminars.

The first arrest of the directors was made in April 2021 and since then the SFO has contacted ‘hundreds of investors’ as well as interviewed the defendants. They also searched the homes of both. 

Cole was arrested again and released on bail in October 2021 because he was seen as a flight risk.

The company was operating for nine years from 2012 to 2021 under the umbrella of Raedex Consortium which also ran PayGo cars, Raedex trading as Wheels4Sure and Rent2Own Cars.

In February 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority imposed a number of restrictions on the company after ‘serious concerns’ about its finances before it went into administration in March 2021.

Cole was charged at Staines Police Station on 19 January 2024 while Martin was charged via letter. Both are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 1 February.

Nick Ephgrave QPM, director of the Serious Fraud Office, said: ‘Hundreds of people suffered significant losses when this well-marketed, seemingly safe car hire scheme collapsed.

‘The charging is a significant step forward in seeking justice for all those affected.’

B2L Investor Help has been contacted for comment.

 

Will Drysdale |Reporter, Accountancy Daily

Will Drysdale is a reporter at Accountancy Daily - email news and leads to william.drys...

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