The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched an investigation suspecting fraud and money laundering in relation to care home and hotel entrepreneur Gavin Woodhouse.
The UK’s anti-corruption agency said the probe will focus on investments offered in care homes and hotels between 2013 and 2019.
Woodhouse, who operated the collapsed Northern Powerhouse Developments (NPD), generated over £80m from amateur investors over several years to create care homes and buy and refurbish hotels – including the Afan Valley Adventure Resort and the Esplanade hotel in Scarborough.
However, an investigation first launched by The Guardian and ITV News, discovered that many of Woodhouse’s projects were incomplete while the businessman’s firms had a “multimillion-pound black hole”.
The SFO has now asked UK-based investors in the suspected fraudulent schemes to complete a questionnaire by 30 September 2021.
According to the group, the information provided will help establish the circumstances of the investments offered, to identify and pursue new information, and to “progress the investigation as quickly as possible”.
NPD, which collapsed in 2019, operated over ten hotels across the UK.