Kent solicitor charged with defrauding UK investors out of £5m

Kent-based solicitor Dale Walker is one of eight men charged by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with conspiracy to defraud UK investors of over £5m through unauthorised land banking frauds.

Kent-based solicitor Dale Walker is among eight men charged by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with conspiracy to defraud UK investors of over £5m through unauthorised land banking frauds.

Walker, who is the sole practioner of Dale Walker Solicitors in Sevenoaks, was charged with fraud and money laundering on the back of Operation Cotton, an ongoing FCA investigation into the activities of three land banking companies: Plott UK Limited, European Property Investments and Stirling Alexander Limited.

The FCA said these companies are believed to have taken over £5m from UK investors between 2008 and 2011. Land banking is the practice of selling plots of land to investors on the promise the developments could soar in value. However, the land is often in areas of natural beauty or historical interest, meaning there is little chance that building permission could be granted.

There is little information available online about Dale Walker Solicitors, which says on its website that it has been offering clients a “friendly and professional service” since 1989. Walker did not respond to calsl for comment.

The other seven charged with conspiracy to defraud are Scott Crawley, Ross Peters, Aaron Petrou, Ricky Mitchie, Adam Hawkins, Brendan Daley and Daniel Forsyth, who was also charged with providing false information. All the men have been bailed to appear in the City of London Magistrates Court on 10 May.

The FCA said that it cannot provide any further comment or information at this time.