THREE arrests have been made today in relation to an alleged £76 million fraud involving luxury care homes in an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

The SFO carried out raids in St Leonard’s in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire and Dorset after initiating a new probe into the Carlauren Group, a UK-registered property developer.

The group collapsed into administration in November 2019, leaving elderly residents to be displaced for their homes and leaving more than 600 investors in the lurch.

Over four years, the Carlauren Group acquired 23 properties across the UK.

Most of these assets were once hotels, such as the historic Windlestone Hall in Durnham

Only nine of the properties were ever operational and some continued to be run as hotels, instead of homes.

The group also purchased a number of vehicles purportedly for the company including two Lamborghinis, a Mclaren 570GT, a private jet and two yachts.

Over 600 people and companies invested in the scheme via purchase of rooms, that were to be rented out to elderly residents, in facilities that boasted of swimming pools, room service and other luxury amenities. Rooms were advertised widely and sold with a guaranteed annual payout and the opportunity to resell the asset back with up to a 25% profit after 10 years.

This is the fifth new investigation launched since Director Nick Ephgrave QPM joined the UK’s specialist anti-fraud agency in September.

Today’s SFO operation was supported by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Nick Ephgrave QPM, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, said:

“This company’s abrupt collapse has created turmoil and enormous anxiety for many, with elderly people forced to vacate their homes and investors left with nothing.

“Today’s arrests are a major development in our investigation and a step towards getting the answers so many people need.”