ICSM Business – investment scam news: disgraced Carlauren care home boss was also involved in a USA sub-prime scandal

Sean Murray Pic: BBC

ICSM Business – investment scam news: disgraced Carlauren care home boss was also involved in a USA sub-prime scandal

By Harry Mottram: It’s a scandal that just gets worse with the revelation that ten years ago the CEO of the collapsed care home empire Carlauren was part of a property scam in the USA. The BBC have reported that in 2020 Sean Murray sold homes in Detroit, Michigan, to UK investors that turned out to be derelict shells.

Millions of pounds were invested by duped UK investors who thought they were buying into modern homes when in fact the properties were derelict or abandoned shells.

Private investigators for one investor, Doug Allanson, found the house he had bought was inhabited by wild dogs. Mr Allanson paid $27,000 (about £21,600) to one of Mr Murray's firms, New Orbit, for the house in Detroit. He was shown photographs of the property which appeared to be a good condition in an attractive tree lined street – only to his horror to discover that it was in state of near collapse.

The BBC reported that the private investigator couldn't get out of their car when they went to see the property because they were being attacked by a wild pack of dogs who were living in the property. Mr Allanson said: "The front door was kicked in and (the investigator's) photos show boarded up windows. It seemed clear that the property had been empty for some considerable time."

Other cases came to light that were equally harrowing but Mr Murray has denied the property scheme was a scam.

The BBC confronted Mr Murray at a second hand car lot at Bournemouth, in 2020 to put the allegations to him but he said he was only involved with he property scheme for a couple of months when he had been in the business in the USA for three years.

Now he is at the centre of the collapsed care home empire scandal that has seen investors lose £100,000 each to the Carlauren Group after their retirement flats in 23 properties went bust. Around 600 people and investors had put up cash to buy the apartments when in reality most of the properties were derelict and empty. Those who had moved into the care homes were forced out when the firm hit the buffers owing millions of pounds.

Now the Serious Fraud Office is involved and three people related to the Carlauren Group are under arrest as police seize luxury cars, yachts and a private jet.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM  - the business membership group dedicated to fighting bad debts and late payers with many members involved in the print industry and allied trades – said: “It appears on the surface that greed was behind the scandal. The idea that you cheat people out of their life savings and promise of a comfortable retirement apartment in a care home is terrible. Not only were the residents and investors taken in but the staff at the functioning homes will have lost out and the suppliers to the various properties from building maintenance firms to the printers who created the glossy brochures will have nothing.”



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