Hotel Directors banned for investment frauds

Oak Forest Partnership Limited was run by Ronald Albert Popely (70), from Gibraltar, Darren James Popely (52), from Sevenoaks, and Stephen William Dickson (64), from Belvedere, Bexley.
Oak Property Partnership Limited was incorporated in July 2010 and was previously known as Oak Property Partnership. Before offering people the chance to invest in hotel rooms, the company purchased and refurbished the Hever Hotel in Edenbridge, Kent.
Over the course of three years, the directors leased 82 rooms to investors for a total of £8.9 million.
In exchange, investors would receive 10% of the purchase price every year for the next ten years, with the developer promising to buy back rooms at the original purchase price after five years.
In February 2017, however, Oak Forest Partnership declared bankruptcy, with creditors, including hotel room investors, claiming more than £14.8 million in the liquidation.
The Insolvency Service launched an investigation after the company’s liquidation, and investigators discovered that the directors induced Oak Forest Partnership to enter into three questionable agreements that benefited the company while owing investors millions of pounds.
The directors made payments totaling £20.6 million, including £7.1 million to related companies. Ronald Popely also served as a director of the company for two years, in direct violation of his previous nine-year ban.
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted disqualification undertakings from all three directors, prohibiting them from becoming involved in the promotion, formation, or management of a company without the court’s permission.
Stephen Dickson was the first director to be barred, and his seven-year suspension began on April 29, 2022. Both Ronald and Darren Popely were given nine-year suspensions, which began on May 12 and May 18, respectively.
Oak Forest Partnership’s liquidators are still determining whether funds, or the recovery of funds, is a viable option.
The Insolvency Service’s Chief Investigator, Dave Elliott, said:
While investors believed their money was being invested in legitimate opportunities, the directors were entering into dubious agreements that benefited them over the investors.
Ronald and Darren Popely, as well as Stephen Dickson, were aware of the repercussions of what they were doing and their bans should serve as a strong message that if directors abuse the confidence of their investors, we have recourse to remove you from the corporate arena for a long amount of time.