Pensioner from St Neots lost life savings after holiday park went bust
- Credit: Archant
A pensioner from St Neots lost thousands of pounds when a holiday park went bust after investing in a chalet slammed as a “ruse” by the regulator.
Ian Sanford, lost £37,000 after purchasing the holiday home under Walsham Chalet Park Ltd, which traded as Dream Lodge.
More than 1,000 investors lost £19.4m when the company collapsed in January 2019 and 161 people lost £14m on chalets that were never even built.
Businessman Simon Moir, 58, promised generous returns to investors who bought lodges on his company’s sites.
The company had holiday parks across England, including in North Walsham, Ely and Bury St Edmunds, which are now under new management.
Mr Moir began a 14-year company director ban last week.
Mr Sanford said: “We were told when we purchased the lodge that it would gain value, which was patently not the case.
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“Many of us are pensioners and have lost most of our life savings.”
Brian Bennett’s wife Connie paid £43,000 for a part share in a chalet in Essex in 2010.
But they later found out the company had pulled out of that park.
“She was promised 8pc guaranteed rental revenue,” he said.
“They made big promises, but in reality, they had just lost my wife’s payment for a lifetime working for the NHS.”
The Insolvency Service found that Mr Moir was aware that some of the lodges hadn’t been built and that there was “little or no prospect” of them being completed.
Michael Ollerhead, 78, and his wife Troy invested £35,000 in a lodge in Coleford Park, Gloucestershire, in March 2018 after being told units were “selling very fast”.
“It’s very distressing as we are retired and have no chance of earning this money back,” he said.
Sue Macleod, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, described the business plan as a “ruse” and said: “Simon Moir’s actions have caused substantial losses to investors, many of whom have lost their life savings.”
Mr Moir was this year banned from an attempt to sell his £2.25 mansion in Essex.
Deloitte, which is liquidating the company, took the family to the High Court to stop them selling their assets, including a Porsche GTS and Range Rover.
Deloitte is also attempting to force Mr Moir to repay a director’s loan of £414,000.