A NOTORIOUS Costa del Sol property company has been accused of committing “fraud” in parliament.

MacAnthony Realty International (MRI) – founded by former timeshare salesman Darragh MacAnthony – came under attack by MP Sammy Wilson.

The Democratic Unionist Party MP for East Antrim blamed the firm, which is based in Marbella, for “defrauding members of the public”.

In an impassioned address to fellow politicians, Wilson said: “This House notes with concern the number of UK citizens who have been victims of property fraud perpetuated by MRI.

“It calls on the Government to make representations to the Spanish, Turkish and Irish governments to take steps to ensure that these companies cannot continue to defraud the public.”

“This House notes with concern the number of UK citizens who have been victims of property fraud perpetuated by MRI.”

Wilson also admitted that he had been contacted by MRI’s brusque lawyers, Carter and Ruck.
This, however, did not scare him off.

“I was approached by several constituents who had dealings with MRI and had lost thousands of pounds,” he said.

According to the Daily Mail, one reader paid a deposit of 60,000 euros through MRI on a property planned to be built in Marbella.

But she later found the developer had built on land without planning consent.

Mortgage lenders refused to touch the properties because of corruption allegations against the developer and she has been unable to complete the deal.

Chief executive of MRI, Dominic Pickering, expressed his sympathy, but blamed the Spanish legal system.

He said MRI checked the developer’s licences and they were OK, but were later revoked unexpectedly.

In 2008, the National Federation of Property Professionals was “appalled to hear of the company’s misleading business practices” and issued a 5000-euro fine.

The Serious Fraud Office has looked at MRI after complaints from people who say they have paid for properties that have never been built or handed over, but it has said the issues do not fall into the category of sufficiently serious or complex alleged fraud for it to become involved.

However, the SFO has told complainants that it believes the matter deserves further investigation and has passed evidence on to the Office of Fair Trading, which in turn has contacted regulators in Spain and Ireland.

MacAnthony, who is also the chairman of Peterborough United FC, has various homes on the Costa del Sol, said to include one in La Zagaleta, Andalucia’s most expensive development.

According to Olive Press sources he is however, spending “increasing amounts of time in the US” and is in the process of selling “various cars” including a Mclaren F1.

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  1. The town halls and lawyers here are to blame for most corruption. It’s their greed and stupidity which makes these problems / rip-offs possible in the first place. There were people in a number of areas who received perfectly legal licences, only to have them revoked by the Junta later. Dodgy mayor in jail – poor owner in the mire! And the Junta happy to treat people like dirt. Such a Spanish story.

  2. This group is well-known for sending out dire and frightening threats from its team of lawyers – effectively stopping anyone from ‘naming and shaming’ and, more importantly, allowing them to continue unchecked with their activities. Well done The Olive Press for publicising this story.

  3. When oh when are MacAnthony and his money games going to be more widely published.
    I suppose their co-conspirators, Carter-Ruck have written to you about this article….. If not they probably will it is just part of the MO.
    Frighten everyone to keep the story off the front pages.

  4. I am currently trying to assist victims of the MRI “scams” and am helping two victims – one who has paid subtantial sums to MRI for a property in Bulgaria and another in Cape Verde. I am 100% not connected to MRI. I am aware that MRI have allegedly tried to trick people to complain just so they get contact details to enable Carter Ruck to write threatening letters. The more people that get in touch, the stronger a case will be to try and bring Darragh MacAnthony and MRI (and their numerous other associated companies) to account. Please get in touch: askforhelp@hotmail.co.uk

  5. Dear All

    Like a lot of people on this forum I have had problems with MRI and have lost my deposit on an apartment in Costa Del Sol. Althogh a relatively small amount complared to some, it still sticks in the throat that nobody in authority seems to be able to do anything about this outragious situation.

    I have been dealing with a UK based solicitor and his details are below if anyone want to have a chat with him I am sure he can tell you if there is a chance of getting your money back/justice:

    Richard Hayes
    The Terrace
    Grantham Street
    LN2 1BD

  6. First of all I would like to agree with a previous posting and say that the Olive Press has been fearless in reporting the activities of Daragh Macanthony and MRI and for that we are very grateful. We have referenced a number of Olive Press articles as they are well written and focus on topics of interest to our company.

    Next, I would like to ask ‘V’ how he or she can help people affected by MRI? Could you give us a few more details please?

    Finally I would like to ask John (AKA Johncyprus) about his postings on quite a few other forums. You seem to own property in Cyprus, Bulgaria and Spain that (that I have spotted so far) and you are also recommending Richard Hayes on a forum for Swedish property. Amazingly, you have the same issues with all your properties – and MRI sold them all to you!
    You also say that Richard Hayes is a UK based solicitor – yet he is referred to in other forums and, it seems, by himself as a Legal Consultant. Which is he, exactly?
    There is a barrister and solicitor called Richard Hayes who is registered with the Bar Association but he is based in London not Lincoln.
    On the Swedish property forum Richard Hayes lists his fee as: 15% of the amount being claimed UP FRONT with 10% taken upon completion. Our company has 12 lawyers/barristers working for us in 8 different countries working almost exclusively in the off-plan property sector against companies like MRI and not one of them asks for anything like 15% up-front. We have one law firm that takes 5% and that is the most we have come across.
    Perhaps you’d like to respond to my comments?

  7. Dear All, am also a victim of MRI “scams”. myself and daughter paid a deposit of 6,000.00 euro as deposit for off plan holiday property in lisbon Portugal meant to be completed by 2011 and up until now can’t reach any staff of MRI. Please could any help me with some information as to what we could do to get back our deposit.

    Kind Regards


  8. i also got scammed bye them asa agent . . but affter 3weeks of dealing with them . i know all about how they work . big time scammers . nothing to do with the land . its big tim scammers . if you cut out your uk agents . and deal with them to save monny you then have NO COME BACK .

  9. mri are nothing but a bunch of arseholes, after recovering from bowel cancer my husband and i decided to start a new life in spain, we went to spain and met a Jeff Steele who worked for mri in a town called Mojacar, we put our trust in this man and oh how silly were we , we lost all our money, we had to return home to N.I. and start all over again. We are back here 2 years and it has been a struggle, i find it hard to come to terms with this, how can someone do this and get away with it. A lawyer from spain came over to n.i. a few months ago to meet others in the same boat as ourselves, he said we had an excellent case but he needed £3000 up front to take the case to court, needless to say we did not have that kind of money. When the lawyer went home we had an e-mail from him regarding the case , my husband replied asking him if he took the case to court could he take his fee and offered him more, we are stil waiting his reply!!!!!!!!!!!! Can someone out there help please?

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