UK Seizes US$10 Million-Worth of Properties From One Family
Four members of a family have turned over more than a dozen properties across the United Kingdom and Spain worth US$10.3 million after British authorities accused them of buying them with dirty money.
The National Crime Agency says Shane Davies, 47, his wife Rhianna, 34, mother Sheila, 66, and sister Tracey, 48, turned over the properties - ranging from an apartment in Tenerife to an 18th century Georgian townhouse in Bath - conceding the buildings were purchased through illegal acts.
“NCA investigators believe that the portfolio was acquired through mortgage fraud and the sale of controlled drugs,” authorities said in a statement.
“The Davies family had claimed that the sizeable funds used to purchase the properties were the result of ‘gifts.' This could not be substantiated.”
The Georgian townhouse - dubbed the Roman City Guest House - could still be found on some travel websites at the time of publishing. Room rates ranged from $74 to $160 to stay one night.
One website described the apartment as “tastefully decorated and furnished throughout” with “all the amenities that you would expect of a 3 star guest house.”
Other rental properties owned by the family includes a seven bedroom converted barn and mill in Somerset, which boasted an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and five bathrooms.
The Davies are believed to have purchased the properties from 1998 to 2007, with authorities saying it earned the family more $2.56 million between 2004 and 2009.
“The Canary Islands holiday home and prestige vehicle represent the obvious trappings of wealth, but equally important is the recovery of numerous commercial and residential properties, which would otherwise have continued to generate substantial revenue that the defendants were not entitled to,” said Andy Lewis, the crime agency’s head of asset denial.
The defendants also agreed to pay back £368,000 ($471,000) of rental income made from property lettings.