A businessman is at the centre of a Government and police investigation into a suspected £43 million overseas property scam. Colin Thomas of Town Hill, Yoxall, is currently being investigated by Staffordshire Police and is also facing legal action from the Insolvency Service following the collapse of his company Ocean View Properties.

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: “Following the collapse and liquidation of Ocean View Properties International Ltd, Staffordshire Police is in receipt of a number of complaints alleging fraud against the company.

The Insolvency Service is understood to be about to launch disqualification proceedings against Mr Thomas and other bosses of Ocean View Properties.In a separate but related development, a class action lawsuit to recover money on behalf of dozens of Ocean View victims was filed by a Spanish lawyer in Madrid on Friday.

The criminal claim for fraud and misappropriation of funds against the directors of Ocean View was lodged in a Madrid court.The prosecuting lawyer is seeking more than £6.5 million in damages for 70 claimants.

The company, whose founders included a convicted fraudster, used the likes of England footballer Gareth Barry and television property expert Martin Roberts to sell luxury apartments in Spain.It took deposits worth around £80,000 each from British investors, but much of the cash disappeared as the homes failed to materialise.

Source: Burton Mail