December 6, 2021

Little Cayman dream investment from Crownworld and Aspen Woolf becomes a nightmare

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From Daily Mirror UK

Despite paying £45,000, investor says ‘I own nothing’.

Fancy a slice of a tropical paradise at a bargain price?

The offer was too tempting to resist for one investor, who was contacted by London-based Aspen Woolf, which claims to specialise in “wealth-building opportunities in both the UK and across the globe through smart, safe and secure property investments”.

The building plot at Sandy Point, on Little Cayman in the Caribbean, had residential planning permission and, said Aspen Woolf, was being sold at 12% below market value.

Investor Ben van Eekelen paid £45,000, signing a contract with a second company, Crown Acquisitions Worldwide Ltd.

This is run by Darryl Pickthall, of Ormskirk, Lancs, and is part of Crownworld – “one of the market-leading luxury real estate brands in the Cayman Islands”.

When Ben said he wanted to cash in his investment, he says Pickthall persuaded him to hang on, saying the value had climbed to £70,000 and would soon reach £90,000.

Finally Ben put his foot down, only to find that he can’t get rid of the plot at any price because he’s never been given the title deeds.

Ben says he paid Crownworld another £995 to get the essential paperwork, plus a local government fee of £4,000 – to no avail.

“So at the moment I own nothing, only a contract with Crownworld saying I will own this land,” he said.

Now Ben feels caught between Aspen Woolf and Crownworld.

Mr Pickthall, of Crownworld, said: “It is a long process of transferring deeds and we didn’t submit the documentation with the local authorities until May of 2016, as we had to wait for various forms to be signed and notarised by Mr Van Eekelen.

“However, the deeds will now be issued shortly and we apologise for the slight delay, albeit some of it was beyond our control.”

Russell Midgely, founder of Aspen Woolf, said he is doing “everything within our power” to help, including hiring a lawyer, and admits: “It doesn’t normally take this long for the title transfer”.

Ben fears this will result in him being landed with a legal bill and says all he wants now is the return of the money he put into this “smart, safe and secure” investment.

“Everything is in order so why am I waiting for one year now for the title deed?” he asked. “This should take eight to 12 weeks. Why is this land unsellable?”

And he raises another point. When he bought the land, he was told that the sale price was significantly below the value put on it by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. It might be a bit late for asking this question, but Ben now wants to know why neither Aspen Woolf nor Crownworld can send him a copy of the supposed RICS valuation.

IMAGES:

Darryl Pickthall

Sandy Point on Little Cayman (Photo: Getty)

For more on this story go to: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/caribbean-dream-investment-crownworld-aspen-9695946

 

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