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Police Investigating Fraud Claims over Paphos Development

POLICE are investigating a series of complaints against a developer accused of taking close to three million pounds from around 70 people for properties in the Paphos district which have not been built, two years after deposits were paid. Briton David Goodman told the Sunday Mail he had paid a £40,000 deposit for a townhouse […]

Scam AlertPOLICE are investigating a series of complaints against a developer accused of taking close to three million pounds from around 70 people for properties in the Paphos district which have not been built, two years after deposits were paid.

Briton David Goodman told the Sunday Mail he had paid a £40,000 deposit for a townhouse in the village of Tremithousa in January 2005 but, “there is still empty land at the site apart from a very small construction.

The full price of the property was listed at £56,475, with J&I Developers planning to rent it out for nearly six months of the year for a decade, and the buyer having access for the remaining half of every year.

Speaking from Northamptonshire in the UK, the 49-year-old said that after getting in touch with other people affected, “we worked out that the developer must have taken up to three million in deposits from what we estimate to be 60 to 70 people.”

He accused J&I Managing Director Ian Beaumont of having money paid into his personal bank account in the UK before going off to the Czech Republic. “I am being told that he is shortly returning to Cyprus, but this story has been ongoing for too long now without any results.”

Goodman says the developer is claiming problems with building permits as the reason for the delay. “Initially, the property was promised by the end of 2005 and then by the end of 2006, but I feel they are simply using delaying tactics. They are now telling me to be patient and that the property will be ready by this coming October. I think that he has no money to pay the developer though.

“I asked for my money back but was told there was no chance of that happening so I have contacted the police and various other authorities in an effort to resolve the situation.”

The Sales Director of Peter Stephenson Properties, who sell properties on behalf of J&I, acknowledged that delivery on the properties in question had been delayed. “I know the clients are very unhappy and I can understand their feelings of frustration and anger,” said Brian Overy.

“As a company, we are trying to do the best for the people involved. We are in touch with the developer and doing what we can as we feel a responsibility.”

He said that he had been in contact with Beaumont, who told him that he was planning to return to the island shortly to address the concerns raised.

Regarding Goodman’s request for reimbursement, Overy said the matter was between Goodman and J&I, but just before going to press, Goodman called the Sunday Mail, explaining that Beaumont had telephoned him from the Czech Republic. “He wasn’t very happy with me at all as he had found out I had contacted the press,” he said. “To my surprise, he promised to return my deposit in full. While this is great news, I am still cautious as he has made many promises in the past which he has not kept.”

Overy said that at the Tremithousa site, “work continued up until Christmas and I have been assured that payment has been sent to the contractor for further work to be carried out, with J&I’s architect negotiating a date for the restarting of building work.

I’m hopeful that although late, people will eventually receive their properties.”

Spokeswoman for Cyprus Police, Chrystalla Demetriou, confirmed that the force had received several complaints on the matter “and they are currently being investigated by our Fraud Department.”

Goodman said he wanted to live in the property with his wife after he retired, “as Cyprus is such a beautiful place which we adore.” He added that the dispute had left him “feeling grim”.

“We are heartbroken as we have saved for many years for a better life and this dream has now been ruined.”

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2007

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