Lawyers move to change judge in house scam case

April 28th, 2013
Story by ROB SMYTH | Burton Mail

LAWYERS have called a halt to a case concerning an alleged multi-million pound overseas property scam involving a Yoxall businessman in an effort to get the judge changed – after they claimed his brother had links with some of the firms involved with the case.

In a letter to hundreds of people impacted, legal bosses have revealed that they have asked for Judge Jose Emilio Coronado Ruz to be removed from presiding over a class action lawsuit against Spanish developer Ricardo Miranda Miret.

Lawyers are delaying the case until the judge is replaced after links between his brother and one of the developers involved in the case were uncovered.

Previously, the Mail has revealed that Colin Thomas, of Town Hill, had been subpoenaed to appear in Madrid.

The criminal claim for fraud and misappropriation of funds was lodged in 2011 in an effort to recover money on behalf of dozens of Ocean View Properties (OVP) victims.

Mr Thomas’s company, OVP, was behind a string of successful overseas propoerty enterprises but ran into difficulties when it became involved as a UK agent for Spanish developer Ricardo Miranda Miret.

More than 1,000 British investors, who paid a total of £45 million for ‘off-plan’ overseas property developments, have lost their money after the firm was formally dissolved in 2009 with the appointment of liquidators Grant Thornton.

The court claims made in Madrid are linked to developments which never materialised at the Estepona Country Club on the Costa del Sol and Punta Perla, in the Dominican Republic.

Mr Thomas is currently banned from being a company director for nine years following an Insolvency Service investigation.

He was also cleared by the Serious Fraud Office and Staffordshire Police following an investigation into the collapse of OVP.

Neither Mr Thomas nor his advisors were available for comment.

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